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REPORT 



or THB 



Metropolitan District 

Commission 



TO THE 



Massachusetts Legislatuee. 



1896. 



5 



BOSTON : 
WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING CO., STATE PRINTERS. 

18 Post Offiob Square. 
1896. 



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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY 

GIFT OF 

WARREN H. MANNINQ 

WAY 10 1929 -^ 



4' a 



METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT. 



I 



Chapter I. 



INTRODUCTION. 



To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Common^ 
wealth of Massachusetts in General Court assembled. 

The commissioners appointed under the provisions of chap- 
ter 446 of the Acts of 1894, entitled ''An act to provide 
for an investigation of the subject of a general municipal 
administration for the city of Boston and adjoining munici- 
palities," have the honor to submit the following report. 

In order to clearly set forth the duties assigned to the 
commission by the Legislature, the law under which they 
acted is here given in fiill : — 

Be it enacted, etc., as follows: 

Section 1. The governor, by and with the advice and consent of the 
council, shall appoint a board of three Metropolitan District Commis- 
sioners, who shall hold their office for one year from the first day of May 
in the year eighteen hundred and ninety-four. Said board shall investigate 
the following subjects : — 

First. The advisability of establishing a general government, with 
limited powers, for the city of Boston and the surrounding cities and 
towns, generally denominated as the metropolitan district, allowing each 
municipality independence in local affairs, but conferring upon the general 
government authority in matters which can be administered to better ad- 
vantage by ^ general government.^ 

Second. The advisability of uniting such cities and towns into one 
municipality by annexing the same, or any of them, to the city of Boston. 

Third The advisability of any other system of entire or partial union 
of such municipalities for purposes of municipal administration. 

Sect. 2. Said board may employ such assistance and may expend such 
sums therefor and in the discharge of their duties, including the actual 
travelling expenses of the commissioners, not exceeding the sum of four 



thousand dollars, as the goyemor and council may determine. Said com- 
missioners shall receive no compensation. 

Sect. 3. Said board shall report to the next general court in print, 
stating the result of their investigation; and, if they recommend any 
legislative action or report in favor of any system of entire or partial 
union, they shall embody in their report a draft of a bill in accordance with 
their recommendations, or for the establishment of such system. Said 
report shall be filed with the secretary of the Commonwealth on or before 
the first Wednesday of January in the year eighteen hundred and ninety- 
five. 

Sect. 4. This act shall take effect upon its passage. 

The above act was amended by the Legislature of this year, 
in chapter 29 of the Resolves of 1895, by granting to the 
commission a year's extension of time in which to consider 
and report upon the subject referred to them. 

The Board was organized Sept. 11, 1894, by the choice of 
Hon. Wm. B. Rice as chairman. In May, 1895, Mr. Charles 
P. Curtis, Jr., one of the commissioners, resigned in con- 
sequence of his appointment as member of the Board of Police 
Commissioners of the city of Boston, and Mr. William Power 
Wilson was appointed to fill the vacancy thus created. 



Method of Investigation. 

The commissioners believed it to be their first duty, by 
means of public hearings and personal inquiries, to find out 
what were the sentiments of the people of the metropolitan 
district concerning the question of establishing some new or 
changed form of metropolitan control; and for this purpose 
public hearings were given, to the number of twenty-five, in 
all of the cities and towns within what is known as the ten- 
mile radius, with the exception of Lexington, Swampscott, 
Nahant and Needham, — the exception in the last-named case 
occurring for the reason that it was deemed unwise to include 
that town within the lines of the metropolitan area. Besides 
the suburban hearings, four hearings were held at the city hall 
in Boston, and private hearings were given to a large number 
of prominent individuals, among whom may be mentioned 
Mayors Matthews, Bancroft and Fenno ; Senators Sanger and 
Wellman ; Speaker Meyer ; Representatives Jones, Dallinger 
and Bennett; Corporation Counsel Bailey; Presidents C. W. 



Eliot and F. A. Walker; Prof. A. B. Hart, Messrs. Thos. N. 
Hart, Tilly Haynes, Hosea Kingman, Geo. O. Shattuck, F. P. 
Stearns, Wm. H. Whitmore, Moorfield Storey, Jerome Jones, 
Richard H. Dana and Chas. Francis Adams, and Dr. Henry 
P.Walcott. 

In addition to the foregoing inquiries, printed interroga- 
tories were distributed broadcast through the district, which 
in hundreds of instances were filled out and returned to the 
office of the commission. In August of this year one of the 
commissioners made a study in Europe of the municipal exten- 
sion question. His report will be found in Appendix A. 

The result of this general inquiry has been the collection 
of a large mass of interesting though often conflicting testi- 
mony. In the great majority of cases, those who stated their 
opinions believed that it was necessary, for the future welfare 
of Boston and the cities and towns that surround it, that some 
change in government control should be made, though there 
were few who had formulated any well-defined plan as to the 
manner in which this change should be brought about. 

Extent of the Metropolitan District. 

It seemed clear to the commission that it was desirable to 
consider as belonging to the metropolitan district all of those 
towns and cities which were in close geographical association 
with Boston, or which were inhabited by those whose business 
relations united them with the central city. In defining the 
district, the boundary line laid down by the Metropolitan Water 
Commission — ^that is, the ten-mile circuit — seemed to be the 
fitting one to adopt, and much more logical and reasonable in 
its application than would ordinarily be the case with an 
arbitrary line of demarcation. Practically the only exception 
made has been the omission of Needham, which is almost if 
not quite as much within the ten-mile line as the town of 
Dedham, but which, unlike Dedham, is not closely connected 
with Boston either territorially or by the' occupations of its 
people. 

The metropolitan district, as will be seen by the map, forms 
a compact territory, possessing many important common inter- 
ests, and ftirnishes (see Appendix D) the homes of practi- 



\; 



cally all of the business and professional men who find occu- 
pation either in Boston or in the suburban districts. In other 
words, we have included in the district, as we have laid it 
out, substantially all of the business and industrial interests 
that centre in Boston. While any subtraction from the group 
we have designated would diminish the number of those who 
share in these interests, any addition by the inclusion of 
towns beyond would not, for the present, increase the 
number of those representing these interests. In time, in 
consequence of the filling up by population of the metro- 
politan district, as we have defined it, and the improvements 
in methods of transportation, those doing business in the 
central sections of the district may in large numbers find 
homes for themselves beyond the limits of the ten-mile radius. 
When such a time comes it may be necessary to consider the 
question of enlargement, but for the present the limits we have 
defined may be looked upon as reasonable, and as including 
common interests and a fairly homogeneous people. 

Conclusions Reached. 

Taking this district and its people, with their industrial, 
commercial, political and historical interests and sentiments, 
into account, the general conclusions we have reached are 
these : — 

First. — That there is no manifest and general demand for 
the annexation of the other cities and the towns of the metro- 
politan district to Boston. 

Second. — That it is desirable to simplify the now compli- 
cated systems of government of this metropolitan district by 
bringing all of its municipalities within the boundaries of a 
single county, this to have larger legislative and administrative 
powers than counties in this State have hitherto possessed. 



Chapter II. 



UNION BY ANNEXATION. 



In our effort to discover as nearly as we could the sentiments 
and wishes of the people of the metropolitan district respecting 
the creation of some metropolitan form of control, we found 
the view commonly taken of this subject was that the annexation 
of the other municipalities to Boston was the only probable 
means of metropolitan union. This opinion seems to have 
been due partly to the experience of other large American 
cities, such as New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, where 
large extensions of the municipal area have been made by this 
form of civic consolidation, partly to the past experiences of 
Boston and partly to the fact that this form of enlargement had 
been much more discussed than any other, and seemed better 
adapted than any other to meet the wishes of those who have 
been the chief promoters of the so-called greater Boston project. 
For this reason it was found difficult at times to have the subject 
considered from any other point of view. Those who favored 
annexation were frequently indisposed to take any alternative 
plan of union into serious consideration, while with the anti- 
annexationists the fear of such a union was often sufficiently 
strong to make them look with suspicion upon any change from 
the existing order of things. 

Simplicity of the Method. 

There is the merit of simplicity in the solution of the question 
which annexation affords, while it moreover makes a strong 
appeal to sentimental considerations. By an easily framed act 
of the Legislature it would be possible to merge in Boston the 
twenty-eight independent municipalities that now make up its 



8 

• 

suburbs ; they would then naturally become wards of a great 
city, which would cover an area of 273.06 square miles, and 
which would contain approximately a million people. Such 
a union would doubtless furnish a remedy for a number of 
admitted evils in existing municipal administrations, it would 
add to the voting lists of Boston scores of thousands of intelli- 
gent electors who would have a keen interest in the good gov- 
ernment of the city, while it would tend to partially relieve 
some of the poorer municipalities of burdens in the shape of 
local taxation which now weigh heavily upon them. 

Advantages of Size. 

In the opinion of many, it is of distinct commercial and in- 
dustrial advantage for a city to have within its borders a large 
number of people. Trade and manufacture, it is said, seek 
these great centres of population ; and hence what might seem 
merely an evidence of local pride — the wish to stand near the 
head of the list in the published reports of census enumera- 
tions — may be an evidence of practical business sagacity. It 
is assumed that this sentimental gain can only be secured by 
annexation, and that the general benefits resulting therefrom 
would much more than justify the sacrifices which individuals 
and communities might have to make if a great city was formed 
by a complete union of the independent municipalities which 
make up the metropolitan district. 

Interest that Suburban Eesidents have in Boston. 

It is also urged with not a little force that the growth and 
prosperity of nearly all of the suburban cities and towns are 
the direct results of the growth and prosperity of Boston, and 
that the greater part of the half million of people who inhabit 
the metropolitan district,, outside of Boston, are interested as 
immediately and personally in the welfare of that city as they 
would be if they resided in Dorchester or West Eoxbury. If 
the government of Boston is not satisfactorily administered, 
the inconveniences and losses which are caused by such a 
defect fall indirectly upon those who have homes in the 
suburban cities and towns with much the same force that 



they do upon those who live within the limits of the chief city. 
The inquiry is pertinently put: Why should the citizenship 
of a man be determined by the place where he spends his 
sleeping, rather than his waking, hours? In other words, 
has he not a deeper interest in the welfare of the place in 
which he makes the money needed to support himself and his ^ 
family than he has in the place where he spends his earnings ? 
To ask such questions is, in effect, to answer them, since a 
brief but impartial consideration of the subject must convince 
every one that in the vast majority of cases a man's life is 
controlled by his business necessities. A man who makes his 
living in Boston, either at a profession or as a merchant, a 
trader, a clerk or a mechanic, may change his home a dozen 
times, living first in one^town and then in another, as fashi6n, 
the schools, drainage, rates of transportation or any one of a 
multitude of motives may suggest. But, while many can 
lightly shift their citizenship, it is the exception to find one 
of the class to which we refer who is not closely and con- 
tinuously bound to Boston as a place of business. 

Not a Practical Method. 

In view of these facts, it is not strange that union by means 
of annexation should be strongly urged, and that it should be 
looked upon, by quite a number of those who strenuously 
oppose it, as a species of ** ultimate destiny." But, while not 
caring to prophesy respecting a more or less remote future, 
we can say of the present that, as the metropolitan district is 
now constituted, we believe its formation, through annexation, 
into one great city, would be politically impossible on account 
of general local opposition ; and that, furthermore, there are 
reasons for thinking that such a change would be of question- v 
able merit, even in the absence of the objection to which we 
have referred. 

Although, as we have said, when the commission began its 
work of inquiry its members were assured that a marked senti- 
ment would be found in favor of annexation, yet at the public 
hearings which were held in Boston and in the neighboring 
cities and towns during the winter of 1894-95 the popular 
wish for this change was not made manifest. At almost every 



10 

public hearing one or two persons spoke who were advocates 
of annexation, but the great majority of those who expressed 
an opinion were opposed to this form of municipal consolida- 
tion. 

Adverse Local Sentiment. 

We are aware that most of the hearings were given under 
conditions that did not lend themselves to a free expression 
of annexation sentiment. As a State commission, appointed 
to study the subject of municipal wishes and needs, it seemed 
to us not only appropriate but almost necessary that our hear- 
ings should be given at the town or city halls of the various 
interested municipalities. These public places were freely 
opened to us ; but, although we adopted the custom of call- 
ing upon those present at these meetings to nominate the 
speakers who in their opinion would fairly represent the views 
of the town or city, it was impossible not to perceive that in 
many instances the statements made were those of town or 
city officials, who not unnaturally looked upon the plan of 
annexation as a reflection upon the efficiency of their local 
government. We were told by the annexationists that these 
expressions of official opinion were not fairly indicative of 
public opinion; that at meetings held in the town or city 
halls it was to be expected that the aldermen, councilmen, 
selectmen and their friends would be largely represented, 
while the ordinary citizens, even when favoring annexation, 
were less likely to make their presence known. It may be 
that this latent, voiceless sentiment exists in the minds of the 
great mass of the people of the metropolitan district ; but all 
that we can say is that in the hearings we have given we have 
not found the evidence of it, and we furthermore believe that, 
if the general wish were strong enough to justify legislative 
action, it would have asserted itself in a positive and unmis- 
takable manner. 

CONTLICTIN^G PoiNTS OF ViEW. 

It is not to be denied that in some municipalities the plan 
of annexation had a number of vigorous supporters. If the 
confident assertions of these advocates were to be depended 
upon, a popular vote in Chelsea, Somerville, Revere, Stone- 



11 

ham, and possibly Everett and Cambridge, would show that a ^/ 
considerable majority of the people in each place was in favor 
of annexation to Boston. But an analysis of the reasons urged 
for this change shows that in the main they were not calculated 
to win for the project the approval of the citizens of Boston. 
A municipality where the amount of property available for 
purposes of taxation is relatively small, where the rate of taxa- 
tion is high and where a large increase in the number of the 
inhabitants is annually taking place, has, even with the best 
of civic management, to forego many greatly wished for public 
improvements. If a community thus situated should join its 
destinies with those of a wealthy neighboring city, it is obvious 
that by the change it would be in a position to greatly increase 
the income available for public work of all kinds, without a 
corresponding increase in its tax rate. Indeed, the opportu- 
nity to enlarge the scope and improve the character of munici- 
pal work might, under such circumstances, be accompanied by 
a reduction in the rate of taxation. It is equally obvious, 
however, that in most instances whatever money for public 
pvirposes the annexed municipality obtained which was not 
derived from local taxes would be money which, but for the 
subtraction, the wealthier city would have had available for 
its own public uses. There may be reasons why such a con- 
tribution should be made ; but as none of the municipalities 
whose affairs we have been investigating has a surplus income, 
or finds it possible from its annual tax receipts to do all that 
its people wish to have done in the way of public work, it is 
easy to see that, in the absence of some powerful motive, this 
plan of annexation would hardly be popular T\ath the people 
of the city which was called upon to thus assist a poorer 
neighbor. 

Opinion Expressed in Boston. 

This general theory was confirmed by the statements made 
both at our public and private hearings ; for, though a ma- 
jority of the people of Chelsea, Somerville and Revere may 
wish to have their respective cities made parts of Boston, we 
were not able to find evidence that these desires were recipro- 
cated by any considerable number of the citizens of the last- 



12 

named place. At the hearings given in the Boston city hall 
the wish was expressed by nearly every speaker who repre- 
sented the city that Brookline, which is relatively even 
wealthier than Boston, should be annexed to that municipality. 
Some were also willing to take in one or two of the other 
richer communities ; but there was an evident disinclination 
to unite with those municipalities where, for reasons we 
have given, a favoring disposition might exist on the other 
side. 

The Econgihies of Consolidation. 

It is well known that by concentration of management 
and responsibility and by harmony of action it is frequently 
possible to increase the efficiency of a public service and 
to relatively lessen the cost of carrying it on. A number of 
illustrations could be cited from public experiences within the 
metropolitan district of the waste of money and energy caused 
either by the duplication of public work or the necessity the 
municipalities have often felt themselves under of doing near 
their border lines services that could be better performed by 
the co-operation of two communities. 

K the cities and towns of the metropolitan district could be 
consolidated into one municipality, the economies here re- 
ferred to could be made, and by these means a saving in the 
cost of administration could be effected which would go some 
way towards meeting the larger demands made by the poorer 
municipalities. There are those who believe that with general 
annexation these savings, obtained by the simplification of 
administration and the abolition of duplicate public services, 
would of themselves prove sufficient to give to the people of 
all of the cities and towns every public facility that the citi- 
zens of Boston now enjoy, at a rate of taxation in all parts of 
the metropolitan district no greater than that which is now 
paid in Boston. While arguments of this character are fre- 
quently urged by the promoters of annexation, they do not 
find favor with the citizens of Boston, and when carried to the 
point 'we have named, appear to be over-statements of the 
case. 



13 



Other Opposing Arguments. 

But, if the statements of the annexationists need to be taken 
with qualifications, the same comment holds good of the pro- 
tests against annexation made at our hearings. The ground 
taken with the greatest frequency was that annexation would 
bring all the cities and towns under license regulations, and 
that no conmiunity would then be found in the metropolitan 
district without a liquor saloon. This is an appeal to preju- 
dice rather than an argument, since the Legislature in passing 
an annexation act could readily provide that the sale of intoxi- 
cating liquors should not be licensed in any of the newly 
added wards of greater Boston in which a majority of the 
citizens voted for no license ; and, under the circumstances, 
this in all likelihood is the provision that would be made. 

Another ridiculous argument is that annexation is wanted 
by the people of Boston because they would like to use the 
wealth of the citizens of the suburban cities and towns in 
paying off Boston's debt, — a statement made on several occa- 
sions by those who represented towns which, both in taxes and 
debt, were hopelessly behind the comparatively easy condi- 
tion of Boston. 

The Corrupt Governments of Large Cities. 

Another more plausible dissenting argument is the seriously 
corrupt character of the government of Boston. It is greatly 
to be regretted that the impression so generally prevails among 
the citizens of the suburban cities and towns that, in common, 
as it is expressed, with all large American cities, the govern- 
ment of Boston is a corrupt government ; and, while it is no 
part of our duty to defend its civic reputation, we can say, 
that, considering the magnitude of the interests involved and 
the amounts annually raised in taxes and spent upon the 
various public services, it is probable that the percentage of 
public money dishonestly used in Boston is quite as small 
as that diverted from honest use in the other municipalities 
of the metropolitan district. Any official scandal at the 
Boston city hall is apt to attract attention all over the State, 



\ 



7 



M 

and on this account a bad reputation has been acquired ; but 
it is not deserved, and, even if it were, the interests which, 
as business men, these dwellers of the out-districts have* in 
Boston should make them realize that the suburban vote might 
be of great value in neutralizing the votes of the bad elements 
in our body politic and in giving to trustworthy officials av 
hearty and enthusiastic support. 

A Great Increase m Expense. 

Though many of the arguments against annexation made at 
the public hearings given by the commission were superficial 
or based upon imperfect information, there are strong reasons, 
as it seems to us, why such a change in existing methods of 
local administration is, for the present at least, undesirable. 
As a factor of primary importance, it must be pointed out that 
. it coulji hardly fail to materially increase the cost of govern- 
ing the metropolitan district. If the city of Boston took in 
this entire area, the various public services now carried on by 
the twenty-eight suburban cities and towns would then have 
to be considered Boston public services. The schools, the 
police, the fire departments, the street and health departments, 
would immediately become branches of similar departments 
having their centre of control at the Boston city hall. This 
would doubtless bring about unity of action ; but one of the 
features of this unity would be uniformity of pay. At the 
present time a teacher in a public school in West Eoxbury 
or Dorchester receives as large a salary ks one of a similar 
grade who is teaching in a school at the South End or the 
North End of Boston proper ; while the police, the permanent 
firemen and the employees of the street and health departments 
are paid so much per day, week or month, without regard to 
the part of the city in which they are called upon to do their 
duty. Outside of Boston, however, the remuneration given to 
public employees is on a different and decidedly lower scale. 
These differences would have to be adjusted, either by cutting 
down the pay of those who were serving in old Boston, or by 
bringing up to the Boston level the pay of those doing public 
service in the newly annexed districts. In practice the latter 



16 

method would probably be found to be the only one possible 
of adoption. The school teachers, the police, the firemen, etc., 
of the out-districts would not be discharged in order to obtain, 
by the employment in their places of persons of greater capa^ 
bility, the value of the higher wages ; the only change would 
be that the old employees would have their wages raised to 
the Boston level. Thus, without any increase in efficiency, an 
increased demand, equivalent to many hundreds of thousands 
of dollars a year, would be quickly thrown upon the treasury 
of the newly created city. When it is taken into account that 
the municipal services to which we have referred call, in Bos- 
ton and in most of the other municipalities, for an outlay rep- 
resenting more than half of the annual cost of government,^" 
and that the scale of pay given in Boston is from ten per cent, 
to forty per cent, higher than that given in the suburban towns 
and cities, it is easy to realize that this certain added cost 
would. much more than offset any gains or savings that could 
come from the simplification and consolidation of administra- 
tion. 

The Character of Suburban Demands. 

To this increased cost would have to be added the expense 
of supplying the annexed municipalities with needed public 
improvements. If all sections of the metropolitan district 
were parts of a common city, there would be no reason why the 
school buildings, the fire-engine houses, the streets, the side- 
walks, the sewers and the water supply of Dorchester should 
be any better than those of Dedham, Watertown or Saugus. 
Throughout the entire district, from Swampscott to Hyde 
Park, from Waltham to Quincy, demands would be made for 
those public improvements with which a great city is supposed 
to supply its people, and which have already been provided 
to quite an extent to the citizens of Boston as that city is now 
constituted. To meet these demands, even in a relatively 
moderate manner, would involve either an increase in the rates 
of taxation, so far as Boston was concerned, or the use in the 
out-districts of money which, but for annexation, would have^ 
been spent for public improvements within the present limits 
of that city. Neither of these methods can be considered 



J 



16 

satisfiujtory ; and yet, as we know from experience following 
the annexation of Dorchester, West Roxbury and Brighton 
to Boston, the adoption of one or the other or both of them 
would be inevitable. 

The Area too Great. 

Many of the necessary public works of a great municipality 
would call for exceptionally large outlays if the entire metro- 
politan district had to be treated as a single city, in conse- 
quence of what would be its sparsely populated character. 
Many and perhaps most of the public services which distin- 
guish a modern city from a country town are made economi- 

j cally possible only by density of population. The area of the 
^ I metropolitan district is greater than that of any city in the 
world. It is nearly forty per cent, larger than the area of 
Chicago, and is more than twice as large as metropolitan 
London, with its five millions of people. Greater Boston, as 
suggested, would have a population of about one million, or, 
on the average, six inhabitants to the acre. If the gauge of 
public needs in a district thus thinly populated, having less 
than one-third inhabitants to the acre that the city of Boston 
has, were the standard of public service set in a well-settled 
city, — and this we imagine would be what many would ex- 
pect, — the effort to meet in a mild way these expectations 

, would impose a heavy burden of expense upon the municipal 
treasury. As will be seen by referring to pages 49 and 60, 
Appendix A, a city in England is not permitted to annex a 
sparsely populated district. This restriction is imposed for 
the benefit of the cities, for the reason that the cost of public 
improvements is often determined by the area covered rather 
than by the population ; hence the annexation of a rural dis- 
trict, while adding little to the tax income of a city, will in 
most instances occasion disproportionate expenditures. 

Imperative Needs of the Main City. 

We have already referred to the fact that, with few if any 
exceptions, the welfare of the people living in the suburban 
cities and towns is dependent upon the prosperity of Boston. 
How many, however, take into account the serious injury that 



17 

may be caused to the entire metropolitan district if the finan- 
cial resources of Boston are so far exhausted, by diversion to^ 
suburban uses, that the city cannot carry on the work needed 
for its own proper development ? The business needs of Bos- 
ton make it necessary that a reasonably low rate of taxation 
should be maintained, while they also require that trade and 
transportation facilities should be promptly provided whenever 
and wherever the want of them is made manifest; hence a 
disproportionate diversion, for purposes of suburban develop- 
ment, of the money collected in taxes by the city, may be of 
distinct disadvantage to Boston business men, even when they 
reside in those suburban districts where a large part of the 
money is spent. 

This financial side of the question of annexation is probably 
its most important side, since no citizen of the metropolitan 
district, no matter how humble he may be, can properly aflford 
to support a movement that would prove injurious to Boston 
as a great business centre. Of the other phases of the sub- 
ject, perhaps the most important is the effect that general 
annexation would have upon municipal administration. 

Danger of having too Large a City. 

It is generally conceded by all American authorities who 
have recently written on the subject that in the eflScient 
administration of large cities the English have of late suc- 
ceeded much better than we have. While, as the statements 
made at our hearings abundantly prove, there are a great 
many who believe that a large city in this country cannot be ,^ 
wisely and honestly governed, that the proper control of 
American cities, in spite of numerous experiments, is still an 
unsolved problem, it is recognized that in Great Britain large 
cities such as Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester are con- 
trolled in a manner to command general approval. But our 
English cousins are gradually coming to believe (as will be 
seen by referring to pages 60, 62 and 64, Appendix A) that, 
if efficient and popular administration is to be continued, it 
may be necessary to impose some limit upon the size of the 
coDMnunity that is brought in all respects under the direct con- 
trol of a single municipality. There is already with them a 



18 

growing tendency favoring the establishment of municipal 
, divisions, for the purpose of permitting of local self-control, 
on the ground that in this way the people are brought closer 
in touch with those whom they elect to manage their local 
affairs. 

We have here, outside of Boston, twenty-eight independent 
municipalities, with populations ranging from one thousand 
to eighty thousand. Each city or town has its own peculiar 
local needs and aspirations, which are known to its own 
people much better than they are or can be known to those 
who live outside of its borders. Combined with these needs, 
and an intimate personal knowledge of them, is a great and 
commendable amount of local pride and public spirit. These 
are mental and moral qualities altogether too valuable to be 
summarily brushed aside, particularly as it is by no means 
certain that they could be replaced by an equal degree of 
interest in and devotion for a great city, of which their little 
community would form but an inconspicuous fraction. 

Advantages of Local Control. 

The comfort and happiness of a citizen, so far as these are 
determined by governmental action, are frequently much more 
immediately dependent upon the small than upon the large 
incidents of oflScial administration. Such matters as the proper 
care of his street, its lights, trees and sidewalk, the satisfac- 
tory removal of garbage and ashes, the abatement of small 
nuisances or the correction of what he considers defects at the 
public school which his children attend, — these and countless 
other minor questions are the subjects which are constantly 
forced upon his attention. It is obviously easier and more 
satisfactory for him to bring his grievances of this class, when 
he has them, to the notice of his neighbors who constitute the 
local authorities, than it would be to wait in the anteroom of 
some head of a department at the city hall in Boston, and 
afterwards endeavor, in a brief interview with an unknown 
and overworked official, to establish the justice of his com- 
- plaint. In a great city, having an area more than six times 
that of the present area of Boston, there would be, of course, 
district superintendents ; but these would not be as closely in 



1» 

touch or as responsible to the individual citizen as his own 
local authorities. 

Belief in Home Eule. 

It is a fact worthy of special emphasis, that, so far as our 
public hearings could be said to develop expressions of local 
public sentiment, they brought out in a striking manner a con- 
fidence in, loyalty to and enthusiasm for the municipal form / 
of home rule. Not only was it asserted in most of these 
municipalities that the choice of local officials was made with- 
out regard to political considerations and largely on the score 
of merit, but there was also shown a praiseworthy belief in 
the honesty and sagacity of these elected public servants, 
which unfortunately does not, as a rule, find its parallel in 
the experience of the people of Boston. The confidence in the 
former, as well as the want of it in the latter case, may be 
undeserved and misplaced ; but certainly a system of annexa- 
tion which led to the substitution of common skepticism for 
this general belief in official probity would be a change of 
feeling greatly to be deplored. 



20 



Chaptbk III. 



THE COUNTY FORM OF UNION. 



While, as we have already pointed out, there are weighty- 
objections to be urged against any present attempt to form one 
great city by uniting the municipalities that make up the 
metropolitan district, and while it is questionable whether any 
scheme of partial annexation would find public favor, it must 
be apparent to those who carefully consider the subject that 
the towns and cities of this district have a large and increas- 
ing number of common interests, for the proper development 
and regulation of which some system of control should be pro- 
vided, in harmony with the traditional New England methods 
of government. 

With the exception of Lynn, Waltham, Wobum and possi- 
bly Quincy, none of these municipalities possesses large busi- 
ness interests which give to it, apart from Boston, a distinct 
individuality. Most of them are either the homes of those 
who find daily employment in Boston, or the fields of indus- 
trial activity of those who supply the great central city and 
its dependent suburbs with their daily supply of fresh food. 
Even with the exceptional cities we have referred to there is a 
strong bond of business interest which unites them closer to 
Boston than to any other of the surrounding municipalities. 

While all of them are justly proud and jealous of their local 
independence, the State has recognized, and they have real- 
ized, that there are a number of subjects for executive and 
legislative action, subjects that vitally concern their welfare, 
which are so far-reaching in their character that no. single 
municipality can hope to successfully cope with and master 
them. These broader problems have been met in Massachu- 



21 

setts in two ways : first, by the establishment of a comity sys- 
tem of control ; and second, by the creation of metropoUtan 
boards of commissioners. 

Old County Lines. 

Following in historical order, it may be said that as early as 
1643 the General Court realized that some broader form of 
local control than the township was needed for government 
purposes, and on this account in that year divided the Massa- 
chusetts Bay Colony, of which the metropolitan district forms 
the central part, into four counties, viz. : ** Suffolk, with Bos- 
ton at its head, and seven other towns ; Norfolk, with * Sals- 
berry' at its head, and five other towns; Essex, with Salem 
at its head, and seven other towns ; and Middlesex, with 
Charlestown at its head, and eight other towns.'* The county 
of Suffolk as then laid out included, besides Boston, Eoxbury, 
Dorchester, Dedham, Braintree (then including Quincy) , Wey- 
mouth, Hingham and Nantasket. As the town of Dorchester 
at that time covered not only the district which now goes by 
that name but also Milton, Canton, Stoughton, Sharon, Fox- 
borough and a part of Wrentham, extending, in fact, to within 
one hundred and sixty-five rods of the Rhode Island line, the 
county of Suffolk then embraced the greater part of what is 
now Norfolk County. Charlestown at that time included prac- 
tically all of Somerville, Everett, Maiden, Medford, Melrose, 
Winchester, Wakefield, Stoneham, Wilmington and Burling- 
ton ; while Cambridge took in Brighton, Newton, Arlington, 
Lexington, Bradford and Billerica. Essex County included 
then the country between the Chelsea or Revere border — 
which then belonged to Boston — and Salem, while Norfolk 
County covered the district near the mouth of the Merrimac 
River. 

The reason for laying down these lines of demarcation as 
they were drawn more than two hundred and fifty years ago 
is apparent to those who have studied the early records of the 
colony, and hence are aware of the extraordinary barrier to 
travel, business and easy communication which, in the absence 
of bridges, a deep river occasioned. The aim of the colonial 
draftsmen seems to have been to join those sections together 



22 

where the problems of water transit were not of serious im- 
portance ; for the direct passage by boat from Boston to what 
is now Cambridge was in stormy weather attended with not a 
little danger. 

Establishment of County Courts. 

At the time these comities were created, and later by the 
"General Laws" revised by order of the General Court in 
1658, a large degree of local control was accorded to the 
county authorities. The county courts, where sessions were 
held by the elected magistrates and their associates, exercised 
an administrative control over the affairs of the respective 
coimties far greater than that which, for many years past, has 
been possessed by the coimty oiBcers of this State. 

From time to time since these county lines were laid down 
they have been altered to meet the requirements of new condi- 
tions. Norfolk County, the county of the North folk or 
North men, is no longer near the mouth of the Merrimac and 
north of the county of the South folk, but, in contradiction 
of its meaning, is on the south shore of Massachusetts Bay ; 
while the annexation of Roxbury (which formerly included 
West Eoxbury) and Dorchester to Boston has deprived it, as 
the annexation of Brighton and Charlestown has bereft Mid- 
dlesex County, of municipalities which had been among their 
most important possessions. The county lines of the metro- 
politan district as they now exist are substantially those which 
were thought, when the last revision took place, in 1793, to 
best represent local needs and common interests. Let us 
briefly consider how these county divisions apply in the met- 
ropolitan district. 

SuETOLK County. 

Suffolk County embraces Boston, Chelsea, Eevere and Win- 
throp. As the last two towns were formerly parts of Chelsea, 
and as Chelsea until 1739 belonged to Boston, they were 
included, and have always remained, in Suffolk County, as 
originally laid out. At the present time the board of alder- 
men and the board of street commissioners have, with some 
trifling exceptions, all of the duties and powers of county 



23 

commissioners over Boston; the city auditor and treasurer 
are the county auditor and treasurer ; and, on the understand- 
ing that Boston is to assume the county expenses, the other 
municipalities take no part in the county business, except that 
their people are permitted to vote for county court oflScers. 
With Revere and Winthrop the duties of county commission- 
ers are performed by the commissioners of Middlesex County, 
at the expense of the two towns ; hence these towns may be 
said to be in two counties, — for court purposes in SuflFblk 
and for other purposes in Middlesex. It will be seen that the 
entire arrangement is of an illogical, makeshift character, 
and can only have been continued because outside of the 
county courts the old work of county government has been 
practically discontinued. 

Norfolk County. 

Norfolk County has twenty-seven towns, of which five, 
Brookline, Dedham, Hyde Park, Milton and Quincy, are in 
the metropolitan district. The county extends from Cohasset 
on the north-east to Bellingham, at the Rhode Island border, 
on the south-west. Except so far as some of the more distant 
towns are in a lesser degree tributary to Boston, the five mu- 
nicipalities in the metropolitan district have little interest 
in common with their county associates. Bellingham and 
Wrentham have a closer natural affiliation with Providence, 
R. I., than they have with Quincy and Brookline. This last- 
named town has been, by the annexation of West Roxbury to 
Boston, entirely cut off from Norfolk County ; it has no direct 
and convenient means of access to the shire town, and little if 
any interest in the rest of the county ; so that the fact that 
under such conditions it has continued for the last twenty 
years to remain without protest in the county, shows both 
the force of habit and the all but complete decay of the old 
theories and methods of county administration. The other 
four municipalities — Dedham, Hyde Park, Milton and Quincy 
— are more closely grouped together and more nearly con- 
nected with the rest of the county ; but their connection with 
and interest in it are not to be compared with their connec- 
tion with and interest in Boston. While the latter relation 



24 

is constantly growing, as they become, with improved means 
of transportation, more and more the residences of those 
whose Uving is made in Boston, the strength of the former 
tie is constantly decreasing. 

Essex County. 

Essex County has thirty-five towns and cities, of which the 
four in the metropolitan district, Lynn, Nahant, Saugus and 
Swampscott, are located in what might be called the pan- 
handle of the county, which, broadening out at the north of 
Lynn, extends from Eockport on the east to Methuen on the 
west, and to Amesbury on the New Hampshire border line. 
Essex is a more compact, homogeneous, and, in consequence 
of railroad connections with its shire town, a more logically 
constructed county than Norfolk. None the less it is too 
evident to need argument that the four municipalities we have 
named as coming within the metropolitan district have far 
more interests in common with Revere, Melrose and Boston 
than they have with Salem and Beverly, to say nothing of 
Newburyport, Merrimac and Andover. In their future de- 
velopment they must inevitably establish closer ties with the 
municipalities to the south of them, and to the extent that 
they do this, must weaken the ties which bind them to their 
present county relations, — ties which any one who studies 
county reports will see are, outside of the courts, fictitious 
in the extreme. 

Middlesex County. 

Middlesex County, in both the north and south districts, 
has fifty-four towns and cities, of which sixteen, Arlington, 
Belmont, Cambridge, Everett, Lexington, Maiden, Medford, 
Melrose, Newton, Somerville, Stoneham, Wakefield, Waltham, 
Watertown, Winchester and Woburn, are in the metropolitan 
district. Middlesex covers an area almost as large as Essex 
and Norfolk combined, extending from the borders of New 
Hampshire almost across the State to within a few miles^of the 
borders of Rhode Island, and westward to Ashby, which is 
north of the city of Fitchburg. What we have said concern- 
ing the present absence of common interests in the formation 



25 

of Norfolk and Essex counties applies with even greater force 
to the metropolitan municipalities of Middlesex County, most 
of which have grown at a prodigious rate within the last two 
or three decades, as the direct result of the overflow of popu- 
lation from Boston. The citizens of these fast-growing towns 
have little knowledge of or association with the twenty or 
thirty other county towns. For all except court purposes the 
county, so far as their interest in it is concerned, might just 
as well not exist. 

Why County Government is Unpopular. 

In each of these three counties the citizens go annually to 
the polls and — particularly in the metropolitan district — 
vote for county oflScers whom they do not know, in most 
instances have never heard of until their names have been 
brought forward as candidates, and who are elected to per- 
form duties of which not one citizen in five hundred has any 
definite knowledge. A political system which attempts in this 
way to unite communities that have absolutely no common 
interest under a form of government that is strikingly wanting 
in the safeguards of clear comprehension and direct responsi- 
bility can hardly fail to prove unsatisfactory. If county ad- 
ministration is not at present popular in this State, the reason 
for disfavor can probably be found in the conditions under 
which it is now carried on. 

Government by Metropolitan Commissions. 

If the metropolitan district, instead of being divided 
between four counties, had formed one county, there is not 
the least doubt that when a few years ago the question of pro- 
viding a general sewerage system came up, the work of supply- 
ing it would have been made, by an enlargement of functions 
and authority, a county matter. It was not at that time fore- 
seen that this metropolitan work would be shortly followed by 
a metropolitan park scheme, a metropolitan water project, and 
that later on it would or will have for its successors plans of a 
metropolitan character for main roads, the regulation of trans- 
portation, the preservation of health, the control of contagious 



28 

In Essex County, out of the thirty-one towns of the south 
district, the four towns of the metropolitan district recorded, 
in 1893, thirty-six per cent., and in 1894 thirty-one per cent., 
of the deeds recorded, and nineteen and eighteen per cent, 
respectively of the probate matters recorded, — in the latter 
case the comparison standing for the entire county, with its 
thirty-five municipalities. 

It may be said that on the basis of population these com- 
parisons are about as they should be, for sixty-three per cent, 
of the inhabitants of Middlesex County are in the metropoli- 
tan district, as are also forty-five per cent, of the population 
of Norfolk County and twenty-one per cent, of the people of 
Essex County. If, however, the court business of about two- 
thirds of the people of Middlesex County and nearly half of 
Norfolk County can be better served by having their county 
court houses located in Boston, instead of in East Cambridge 
and Dedham, a strong reason exists, apart from others, for 
making the change. When it is further shown that this 
change can be made and yet afford the rest of the counties, 
with their great areas of comparatively sparsely settled terri- 
tory, quite as convenient shire towns as they now possess, a 
serious objection to the change, which might otherwise come 
from those living in these counties outside of the metropolitan 
district, should be removed. 

Inconvenience of Present Arrangements. 

To a great many of the residents in the Middlesex 
County part of the metropolitan district East Cambridge is 
not a convenient point for court purposes. The place is 
directly reached by a way station on one of the five main 
lines of steam railway which supply transportation to the 
people living in this part of the district. With most of those 
who have, for any purpose, to visit the court house, it is 
necessary that they should come into Boston and take the 
street cars across Charles River into East Cambridge. When, 
as sometimes happens, citizens of Newton, for example, have 
to do jury duty in Lowell, the inconvenience is raised to the 
height of absurdity. 

The Norfolk County court house is even less conveniently 



29 

situated for the citizens of Brookline and Quincy. To reach the 
shire town of Dedham it is necessary for the residents of those 
municipalities to come into Boston and take the steam cars to 
their destination. With quite a part of Milton the same state- 
ment holds good, so that two towns, Hyde Park and Dedham 
itself, having not a third of the inhabitants of the five inter- 
ested municipalities, are the only ones that are fairly served 
by the existing arrangement, and, as the lawyers resident in 
these places almost all of them have their offices in Boston, 
the convenience to them of existing conditions may be more 
apparent than real. 

It is probable that, so far as ease of access is concerned, the 
court house at Salem can be reached by the citizens of Lynn, 
Swampscott, Saugus and Nahant as readily as one would be 
that was located in Boston ; but here again, as we have said 
above, those representing the professional interests of these 
four municipalities are gradually doing more and more of 
their daily work in Boston, and it is there and at a court 
house located there that tiiey could best serve the legal inter- 
ests of their inmiediate neighbors of Essex County. 

The inconvenience of present conditions is recognized and 
admitted by the bench as well as the bar. It is of daily 
occurrence to have matters which should be proceeded with 
before a judge sitting in the court house of one of these three 
counties taken up and acted upon in Suffolk County, for the 
reason that such a geographical disposition of the case is of 
convenience to the judge, or the counsel, or those whom they 
represent, or to all parties concerned. 

The Division of County Expenses. 



^j 



The changes we recommend would deprive the three inter- 
ested counties of a large portion of the taxable wealth they 
now possess, and would take from one of them all, and from \ 
another the greater part, of the county buildings. How, it 
will be asked, are county affa.irs to be properly carried on 
after such a reduction in income has taken place, and what 
amoimt and form of compensation are to be given for county 
property thus assumed? An analysis of civil and criminal 
court, jail and house of correction expenses, if it could be 



30 

made, might show that the county taxes paid by the cities and 
towns of the metropolitan district were proportionately no 
larger than the amounts that had to be spent by the counties 
on their behalf; but, as the result of investigation, it was 
found that a classification of the residences of those involved 
in criminal and civil court proceedings and of those serving 
out sentences in the county jails and houses of correction 
would be of doubtful accuracy, while the work of preparing 
it would be so laborious that it would not pay to undertake it. 
It may, however, be safely assumed that, if the towns and 
cities in the neighborhood of Boston have made large annual 
contributions to the treasuries of the counties of Middlesex, 
Norfolk and Essex, they have also been responsible for a large 
part of the litigation that has come before the courts, and 
have, besides, furnished their fiill quota of criminals and in- 
mates of the jails and houses of correction. There is no 
reason why the country districts of these counties should call 
for any larger court and criminal expenditures than similar 
districts in Franklin and Berkshire counties. 

It is found in the experience of coimty changes in England 
(see Appendix A, page 65), and we believe the same rule 
would hold good in this country, that, if the municipalities of 
a size and density of inhabitants to be graded as cities are cut 
\ off and separated from the rural parts of a county, the sav- 
ing in the expenses of court and reformatory institutions is 
more than equal to the loss in tax income ; in other words, 
that these more densely settled sections, with the social con- 
ditions inseparable from them, impose by their connection a 
disproportionate expense upon the county. 

The Question of Compensation. 

If the court houses and other county property of Middlesex 
and Norfolk counties are included within the borders of this 
new county, it will be necessary for the latter to make due 
compensation. The value of this property, as estimated by 
the county authorities, will be foimd given in Appendix E. 
It might also be necessary to arrange for the temporary com- 
mon use of the court houses during the period of readjust- 
ment. 



31 

That such a change will involve considerable expense is a 
fiwt that must be fairly fiu^d. Still, it must also be re- 
membered that every year of delay will tend not only to 
increase existing inconvenience but add to the expense of 
correcting it. Large and costly changes are now being made 
in the court house at East Cambridge, the expense of which 
may in part be saved if the plans which we recommend are 
carried out with reasonable expedition. Expensive additions 
have recently been made to the court house at Dedham ; but 
before long it will be necessary to spend a large sum of money 
in providing suitable accommodations for the registry of deeds. 
For these reasons there is apparently no time in the future 
when the proposed change can be made as economically as at 
the present time. The concentration of court work in Boston 
will unquestionably call for larger court accommodations in 
the centre of that city. But this outlay, together with the loss 
incident to the disposition in some way of court buildings 
in East Cambridge and Dedham, having once been met, the 
million of people resident in the metropolitan district will 
have brought their county affairs for the first time into logical, 
consistent and harmonious relations, by means of which they 
can be carried on in the future with greater ease, convenience 
and economy than has ever been possible in the past. 

The Need of County Control. 

We have referred at this length to what may be called the 
court features of county service, because to most persons these 
are regarded as about the only characteristics of county work ; 
and we have been desirous of emphasizing our opinion that, 
if the change proposed were confined strictly to these func- 
tions, it would be one which existing conditions would amply 
justify. But, as we said at the outset, we believe the time has 
come when, in a county such as that proposed, the scope of 
county authority should be enlarged by including under it 
those already created public services which are metropolitan 
in their character, with such other public duties manifestly 
beyond the range of individual municipal action as may from 
time to time be added. Thus, while preserving local initia- 
tive and local autonomy in all matters where the service can 



32 

be undertaken and carried on by the respective cities and 
towns working wiflnn their own borders, a representetive 
authority would be provided for the consideration and execu- 
tion of those larger undertakings, the imperative need of 
which has been forced upon our people in the last few years, 
and which in the years that are to come are certain to find 
further exemplifications. 

A Departure from Historical Political Principles. 

It has been already said that the creation of metropolitan 
boards of commissioners to execute these large enterprises was 
obviously due to the fact that no proper authority existed upon 
which this duty could devolve. These boards have carried on 
their work in an admirable manner, but their creation by act 
of the Legislature and the appointment of their members by 
the chief magistrate of the Commonwealth have constituted a 
wide and serious departure from the political principles upon 
which this State and nation are founded. It was evidently the 
idea of those who first framed the county regulations of Massa- 
chusetts that the county governments — the county courts, as 
they were called — should perform the work which was local, 
so far as the General Court was concerned, but general so fiir 
as concerned the municipalities ; and the question which now 
presents itself is, Is it not wiser and better to continue to 
follow our old traditional methods, rather than permanently 
adopt a new system of government, which resembles much 
more nearly the practices that were established in France by 
the first Napoleon than those to which, from the earliest his- 
toric times, our race has steadily adhered? 

A system of metropolitan control which permits the Legis- 
lature, representing the entire Commonwealth, to tax the 
people of a district not for State but for local purposes, and 
then, having deprived them of all but a fractional voice in the 
levying of the tax, decrees that the money shall be spent by 
those whom the payers of the tax have no voice in appointing 
and over whom they can exercise no control, is not a system 
which can be reconciled with American political methods* 
That good work has been done under it is not an argument in 
its defence. The autocratic administration of St. Petersburg 



33 

is said to work well ; we know that Paris, where the all-power- 
ful prefect is appointed by and is responsible only to the 
French minister of the interior, is a well-governed city ; but 
are we prepared to copy these old-world and anti-republican 
systems, and admit that our own methods of representative 
government are a failure, even when applied in an area such 
as the metropolitan district of Boston, where the average of 
public spirit, honesty and intelligence is probably higher than 
in any similar area in the entire United States? Besides this, 
it is a well-known experience that, while such commissions, 
when first created, under the fiill light of great public interest 
in their work, have exceptionally able men upon them, the 
tendency, with time and popular indiflference, is to have the 
vacancies annually occurring filled by men who seek them as 
a reward for political services. 

The Object of Representative Political Methods. 

It is stating an elementary and almost self-evident proposi- 
tion to say that popular representative institutions are main- 
tained even more for their general effect upon the people than 
for the high quality of government work which they secure. 
If participation in the public affairs of our State were limited 
to eight or ten thousand of the most intelligent citizens in the 
Commonwealth, it is reasonable to suppose that the restriction 
might result in certain improvements in the legislative and 
administrative branches of our government; but this gain 
would be made at the sacrifice of our political principles. All 
over the world the democratic theory of control is making 
headway, because it is realized that the political education and 
contentment of the people are even more essential to continued 
public well-being than a perfect administration, and that this 
education and contentment can best be obtained by giving 
to the people the foUest opportunity to govern themselves. 
This is the theory upon which our political institutions are 
founded ; it is this that has won for these institutions the praise 
of. foreign observers, from De Tocqueville to Bryoe ; and 
we cannot now afford to abandon this principle in the control 
of those public affairs which come between the town and the 
State. 



i 



34 



RE-ESTABLISHINa A NeW ENGLAND SySTEM. 

Assuming that the people of this metropolitan district wish 
to govern themselves, how are they to proceed with this work? 
For the people of the proposed new county to elect — follow- 
ing the present county practice — three county conmiissioners 
would be a wholly imsatisfactory method. In some parts of 
the State the government of the counties by commissioners 
may be acceptable and popular ; but it certainly is not so in 
the district we are considering, where it is felt that these three 
officials, elected one each year and practically accountable to 
no one, do not constitute the form of control that the people 
desire. What is needed is the re-establishment of an old New 
England method, the re-creation and extension of our ancient 
county courts ; or, to use a modern and less ambiguous name, 
the formation of a county council. 

In Appendix A, page 73, is given a brief account of the 
system of governing English counties which was introduced a 
few years ago, and which there, as it would be here, was in 
certain ways a reassertion of an old and for a long time unused 
form of control. 

GOVERNIVIENT BY CoUNTY COUNCIL. 

The county council of the metropolitan district should repre- 
sent the people of that district, and, in order to properly do 
this, it should be a reasonably large body. In point of popu- 
lation the district would at present be nearly equally divided 
between Boston and the outlying towns and cities, the average 
increase of the latter being, however, far more rapid than that 
of the former. The census taken last May gave about 500,000 
people to Boston and about 500,000 to its out-districts ; but 
the next State decennial census will probably show that the 
former has not over 625,000, while the latter may have more 
than 750,000 inhabitants. A great and growing community 
such as this, made up of different municipalities but having a 
number of important common interests, cannot be properly 
represented by a group of three county commissioners. The 
county council should be large enough to bring its members 
into touch with the people whom they represent. 



35 



Suggested Methods. 

It does not seem to us expedient, or at this time necessary, 
to formulate and lay down the statutes in accordance with which 
such a body should be created. As will be found further on 
in our recommendations, it is our belief that, before treating 
of these matters of detail, it would be better to obtain from 
the people of the metropolitan district their opinions on the 
merits of the general proposition. We can, however, mention 
a number of ways in which such a county council could be 
formed. One plan would be to have it consist of the mayors 
of the cities and the chairmen of the boards of selectmen of 
the towns, with — in the case of the large cities — one added 
representative, taken from the board of aldermen, for each 
fifty thousand or fraction thereof of population. That is, under 
such an arrangement, Boston would have eleven councillors, 
Cambridge and Lynn three each, Somerville two and the other 
mimicipalities one each. Such a body would be a distinctly 
official assembly ; but, in order to insure continuity of service, 
it might be necessary to have elected at large ten, fifteen or 
twenty associate members, either by the council itself or by the 
general vote of the people, these to be connected with none of 
the municipal governments, and to serve for a term of three 
years. An alternative plan w^ould be to have each municipality 
choose its own councillor or councillors, each city or town to 
have one, with one added for each thirty, forty or fifty thou- 
sand (as might be advisable) of inhabitants that it possessed. 
Another plan would be to have each municipality, irrespective 
of size, represented by a single councillor ; and the antithesis 
of this is to have a councillor chosen from each representative 
district in the metropolitan district, or possibly to have 
the senators and representatives chosen to the Legislature 
from the metropolitan district also act as county councillors. 
Another plan would be to have these councillors, to the 
number, say, of sixty, chosen at large by the votes of the en- 
tire district, possibly one-third retiring annually ; while still 
another method would be to arrange to have — in view of the 
importance that financial questions would assume in the carry- 
ing on of county work — a representation based in part on the 



36 

valuation of a municipality, so that a community which con- 
tributed, say, five times as much as another in meeting the 
cost of a county undertaking, should have more to say than 
the smaller contributor as to the amount of money to be spent 
and the manner of spending it. 

These are a few suggestions as to the manner in which the 
county council could be formed. We neither approve nor 
disapprove of any of them, believing that they are matters of 
detail, the settlement of which should not be attempted until 
after the question of whether or not a county should be formed 
has been submitted to the people for their decision. 

ExECiTTivE Authority. 

Granting that a county council was formed, its functions 
ivould of necessity be of a legislative character. It would 
meet from time to time, perhaps once a month, or possibly 
once a quarter, to take up and act upon such matters of a leg- 
islative character as the General Court delegated to it. The 
executive work would be performed by administrative oiBcers, 
who might be — though this again is a matter of detail — 
chosen by and be responsible to the council, or who might 
be appointed by such presiding oflScer as the council chose 
to elect. 

Kange of County Councel Duties. 

To an organization thus formed, consisting of a county 
council and its executive, would be transferred whatever is 
distinctly county work in the metropolitan district, together 
with such services as are now performed by the Metropolitan 
Sewerage Commission, the Metropolitan Park Commission and 
the Metropolitan Water Commission. We are well aware 
that the areas of the three last-named departments of public 
work are not conterminous. So far as the park area is con- 
cerned, the contributions of the towns outside of the metropol- 
itan district might be allowed to lapse ; for they are too insig- 
nificant a part of the whole sum annually collected to make 
their retention or loss a matter of the least moment. With 
the sewers and water areas the case is different ; but the work 
on the former is now practically done, while the latter could be 



37 

carried on under the law of 1895 quite as well by a board 
of works responsible to the county council as by the present 
Metropolitan Water Commission. 

We imagine that, when an evident need arose, the county 
council, with the permission of the Legislature, would assume 
other duties that were undeniably of a metropolitan character. 
We should expect to see the maintenance of the main high- 
ways, or great business roads which pass through two or more 
municipalities, made a duty of the county council, possibly! 
questions of metropolitan transportation, as well as the care of* 
the rivers and watercourses, and questions of surface drainage ; 
where the interests of two or more towns were affected. All 
of these matters are subjects which the municipalities in their 
individual capacity cannot efficiently act upon. Under the 
arrangement which we suggest the local independence of the 
various municipalities would be assured, since the burden of 
proof would be thrown upon the county council to show, when 
it proposed to obtain legislative sanction to undertake a new 
public service, that this was, first, of a general character, and 
second, could be better performed by it than by the various 
cities and towns acting on their own account. But, even with 
this qualification, no one who goes carefully over the field of 
public needs and public services can fail to see that there are 
duties which now rest unperformed in this metropolitan dis- 
trict because it is beyond the power of the separate cities and 
towns to properly execute them. It may be said that when 
these become sufficiently pressing they will be taken up by the 
State government ; but that is to have recourse to a demoraliz- 
ing form of relief; and, furthermore, as Hon. Robert P. 
Porter has recently said, in an article in the <* North Ameri- 
can Eeview," on <'The municipal spirit in England," quoting 
from Mr. John Morley, *'You may safely entrust to local 
bodies [meaning such a body as we now propose] powers 
which would be mischievous and dangerous in the hands of 
the central government." This is a political truth of deep 
significance, for at any time needs may arise that might be 
safely and wisely met by such a government as that which we 
propose, but which would not readily lend themselves to this 
form of treatment if undertaken by the State government. 



38 



J 



The Sentimental Side of the Question. 

One objection which may he raised against this county form 
of government for the metropolitan district is that it does not 
recognize the sentimental side of the question. What, it will 
be claimed, is wanted for Boston is the credit in the world of 
business of having a million of people. Whatever advantages, 
it will be said, the county plan may have in the way of ad- 
ministrative reform, it will still leave Boston a city of no 
more than five hundred thousand inhabitants. In one sense 
this statement is true ; but in another it is not a correct pres- 
entation of facts. What the world has thus far failed to fully 
recognize is, that Boston, unlike almost all other American 
cities, is a great commercial centre, with half of its people re- 
siding in the rural and semi-rural communities by which it is 
surrounded. The union of these interested communities in 
some well-defined local form of control will give to the world 
that knowledge of their collective importance which it cannot 
have so long as they are politically as independent one of the 
other as though they were located a hundred miles apart. It 
is the county of London, with its five millions of inhabitants, 
and not the city of London, with its forty thousand people, 
that is the great metropolis of England. If, as has been sug- 
gested, the new county was called the metropolitan county or 
the county of greater Boston, — titles not only definite in 
themselves but much more appropriate than what are with us 
the meaningless and geographically misapplied terms, SuflFolk, 
Norfolk, etc., — it would be the collective importance of the 
group thus designated that would be made manifest. In com- 
parative statements of population, it would be metropolitan 
Boston or greater Boston, and not municipal Boston, that 
would be tabulated; for all would realize that, in the main 
essentials of social and industrial union and political organ- 
ization, this was one community, and was only kept locally 
separated for administrative purposes. This winter the British 
Parliament is to consider the advisability of dividing the 
county of London into fifteen or more locally independent 
cities, and of according to the municipalities thus created 
quite a number of the powers now vested in the county of 



39 

London. This change will not, however, take from London 
its reputation of being the greatest city — for that, though it 
is a misstatement, is the term commonly employed — in the 
world. With us, too, under this metropolitan form of control 
Boston will 1)0 known to the outside world, which has little 
knowledge of local political divisions, as a city of a million 
of people, a definition and enumeration in all respects as exact 
as that which has been given to London. On this ground it 
seems to us that the sentimental influences have been safe- 
guarded by the plan which w^e propose, and this, too, without 
the uncertainties wiiich might attend a more radical form of 
consolidation. 

The Objects to be Attained. 

It has been our effort to outline a method of govern- 
ment which would, at one and the same time, stimulate the 
enthusiasm which those whose interests centre directly or in- 
directly in that city should have for Boston and for all that 
makes for her greatness and prosperity, while conserving the 
admirable and strongly developed wish for local self-control 
which the people, of the outlying towns and cities now so j 
generally possess, — a method which would, while attaining j 
these ends, be also in full harmony with American political 
principles, and be in all respects calculated to give to the 
people whose aflFairs we have been considering a wise, pro- 
gressive and popular form of administration. We think all 
this can be secured by the metropolitan form of control, and, 
thus thinking, we believe that the people directly interested in 
the subject should be asked, in accordance with the bill which 
we herewith submit, to vote at a special election, yes or no, 
on the proposition of whether they wish to have their various 
cities and towns brought together into a distinct and legally 
defined metropolitan district. 



40 



Chaptkr IV. 



RECOMMENDATIONS. 



For the purpose of carryin«^ out the changes proposed in 
the foregoing pages, we recommend to the General Court the 
adoption of the following law : — 

Xn Act to provide for the Creation of a New County, which 
shall include boston and the surrounding cities and towns. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and Tfonse of Representatives in General Court 
assembled^ and by the atUhority of the same^ as follows : 

Section 1. The territory referred to in this act as the metropolitan 
district is as follows, to wit: the municipal areas of Boston, Chelsea^ 
Revere, Winthrop; Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Everett, Le xington , 
Maiden, Medford, Melrose , Newton, Somerville, St oneha m, Wakefiem, 
Waltham, Watertown, Winchester, W pbum ; Lynn, Nahant, S fiugtb , 
S wampsc ott ; Brookline, Dedham, Hy de P ark, Milton and Q uinc y. 

Sect. 2. On the thirteenth of May, eighteen hundred and ninety-six, 
there shall be submitted to a vote of the duly qualified electors of the afore- 
said cities and towns, at a special election held for that purpose, the ques- 
tion. Shall a new county be formed of the cities and towns which make up 
the metropolitan district ? On this question the electors voting shall vote 
yes or no. 

Sect. 3. It shall be the duty of the secretary of state of the Common- 
wealth to prepare and provide properly printed ballots for the purpose of 
taking the aforesaid vote, to canvass the returns of votes cast made by 
the city and town election officers of the said metropolitan district, certify 
the same and make an official declaration of the result. Li order that the 
proposition may be declared adopted, it will be necessary, first, that in a 
majority of the municipalities of the said metropolitan district a majority 
of the votes thrown shall be affirmative votes ; and, second, that a majority 
of the votes cast in the entire said metropolitan district shall be affirmative 
votes 

Sect. 4. If a sufficient number of the electors of the metropolitan dis- 
trict, voting as aforesaid, shall vote in the affirmative, the governor, by and 
with the consent of the council, shall, on or before the fifteenth of July, 
eighteen hundred and ninety-six, appoint a commission consisting of five 



41 

citizens of the metropolitan district, one at least residing in those parts of 
each of the comities of Suffolk, Middlesex, Norfolk and Essex that are 
within the said metropolitan district, which shall be known as the metro- 
politan county commission. 

Sect. 5. The said metropolitan county commission shall prepare and 
report to the next general court, in the form of a bill, a method of county 
government for the metropolitan district, this to include the powers now 
exercised in the said district by existing county officers, whether exercised 
concurrently with other boards and officers or otherwise, as well as those 
now vested in the metropolitan, sewer commission, the metropolitan jmrk 
commission and the metropolitan water commission, together with such 
other public duties as in the opinion of the said county commission are 
general rather than local in their character. The method of county gov- 
ernment thus prepared shall consist, so far as its legislative functions are 
concerned, of a county council, in which reasonable representation shall be 
accorded to each city and town in the said metropolitan district. 

Sect. 6. The said metropolitan county conmiission shall also arrange 
for the transfer of the county property located in said metropolitan district 
to the proposed new county, shall indicate the terms and conditions imder 
which such transfer may be made, and shall also report upon the increased 
accommodations needed in Boston to carry on the court business and regis- 
tries of deeds of the said proposed new county. 

Sect. 7. Pending final action upon this question, the county commis- 
sioners of Norfolk and Middlesex are prohibited from making more than 
ordinary and necessary alterations and repairs upon the county buildings 
situated within the borders of the aforesaid metropolitan district : provided, 
that nothing herein contained shall prohibit the continuance of work on 
new buildings under contract for construction at the time of the passage of 
this act 

Skct. 8. This act shall take effect upon its passage. 



In presenting the above measure for the approval and action 
of the Legislature, we think we have gone as far as it is desir- 
able for us to go in the absence of an authoritative expression 
of public opinion. We feci convinced that the time has 
arrived for making the change we have suggested, and that 
if made it will be of great benefit, not only to the citizens of 
the metropolitan district but to the people of the entire State. 

The method we have proposed of testing the public T^^ll 
on this subject is the well-known system of the referendum, ^ 
mcidified so that there may be a double test, — a vote both by 
municipalities and by the people. In this way the objection 
is avoided that the vote of two or three of the larger munici- 
palities, or the vote of Boston alone, might bring about the 
change, in spite of the opposition of nearly all the smaller 



42 

communities. It is obvious that the measure is one which 
must be accepted or rejected in its entirety, for the effective 
carrying out of the county system of control would not be 
possible if one or two municipalities, situated, perhaps, near 
the centre of the district, were to be omitted. Common action 
is needed, and we think that, if the subject is brought fairly 
to the attention of the citizens of the metropolitan district, an 
overwhelming majority of them will support it by their votes. 
It will then rest with those who are to come after us to 
formulate a plan of control for the new county, which, while 
recognizing present needs and conditions, and according to 
the people of the district a responsible and representative 
form of government, will be in harmony wath the time-hon- 
ored political principles of this Commonwealth. 

WILLIAM B. RICE. 
OSBORNE HOWES. 
WILLIAM POWER WILSON. 

Boston, Dec. 30, 1895. 



APPENDICES. 



Appendix A. 



FOEEIGN MUNICIPAL METHODS. 



Report made to the Metropolitan District Commission, 

Sept. 25, 1895, 

By OSBORNE HOWES, 
On the Manner in which the Problem op Municipal Extension has 

BEEN treated BY CERTAIN EUROPEAN CiTIES. 



The result of an investigation made into the manner in which the 
cities of Great Britain have taken up and acted upon the subject of 
enlarging their areas brings out the fact, which should be stated at 
the outset, that the English municipalities differ widely, both in their 
methods of government and in their physical conditions, from the 
cities of the United States. One has forced upon him the compact, 
solid character of their cities whenever he approaches the outskhts of 
one of them, or, in the case of Edinburgh, goes to the top of Arthur's 
Seat, — the hill which the city has for its park, and which is high 
enough to allow one to look over its entire extent. From this point it 
can be seen that the rows of brick and stone buildings which line the 
city streets continue in an unbroken mass to where the country begins, 
and there the change is complete, open land used for grazing or 
farming purposes coming immediately after the rows of closely built 
structures, so that it would be almost possible to build a wall around 
the city where its distinctly ci^ic character ends and have within that 
wall practically all of its people. There are, of course, exceptions to 
this rule, markedly so in London and to a less extent in Manches- 
ter, but even in these cases the people do not spread themselves out 
as they do in the United States ; and hence there are not around these 
great English cities smaller cities such as Maiden, Newton or Quincy, 
or towns like Belmont, Brookline or Milton, having over the greater 
part of their entire extent a distinctly rural character. 



46 

It is true that the tendency of the times in the great English cities 
is for those who can do so to live oat of town, bat relatively not 
to the extent that this tendency has controlled the actions of the 
wage earners and business men of Boston. Besides this, the English 
village is usually itself a compact cluster of brick and stone buildings, 
closely ranged together and having little of the attractive openness 
of the American country town. So far as the cities are concerned, 
the result of this condensation is shown in the restricted area which 
they cover. Cities having 300,000, 400,000 or even 500,000 people 
have, or have had, areas of only six or eight square miles ; and some 
of those which by recent additions have now a territory no more than 
two-thirds that of Boston consider that they have enough space to 
provide for the needs of a population of over a million. This concen- 
tration of population has certain advantages in the way of municipal 
economy, as, for example, in the construction of sewers, streets and 
sidewalks and in the laying of water mains ; for the expense is ma- 
terially reduced when compared with the cost of performing similar 
ser\^ices in a city where, on the average, each inhabitant occupies a 
much larger extent of ground space. Besides this, it makes the 
problem of street transportation a much simpler one, and may 
account for the fact that large English cities find it possible to 
profitably and satisfactorily maintain a public system of street trans- 
portation, with lines of track much less in mileage than are required 
for the needs of Boston and its immediate vicinity. 

It is probable that this concentration of population, this tendency 
of a city to spread out in a compact form, is largely due to the system 
of taxation used for obtaining money for local purposes. There is 
no tax in England on personal property as such, and the towns and 
cities obtain the money that they require by levying a tax, or rate, as it 
is termed, not on the value of land and buildings, but on the income, 
actual or assumed, of the real estate. The tax upon a piece of prop- 
erty is so much upon its renting value ; and it is obvious that an 
unimproved tract of real estate, used possibly for grazing purposes, 
can have but a very small renting value, and hence the owner or lessee 
of it can afford to carry it, in the hope of a future high rental, for a 
long period of time, because it may cost him no more in the way of 
taxes to do this than if it were fifteen or twenty miles distant from the 
centre of the town. When the pressure becomes suflSciently severe, 
he can lease the land for building puiposes for a long term of 
years with a good return to himself ; but until he is ready to make 
this change he may not be under the necessity, as he commonly would 
be in the United States, of utilizing his land, for the reason that he 
could not afford to continue to pay taxes bas^d upon its value while 
leaving it in an unimproved condition. 



47 

Added to this are the easy conditions under which large and nnpro- 
ductive estates can be maintained so far as taxation is concerned. 
The owner in England of an estate consisting of his mansion and ex- 
tensive gardens and park will often be called upon to pay a mere 
nominal rate in the way of taxation, when value of the estate is taken 
into account, for the reason that it is not a productive piece of 
property, and that no revenue is coming in from it upon which a 
tax can be demanded. This is stating the case in the extreme, 
because when land is obviously held back for speculative purposes, 
and its great value for business or residential purposes can be demon- 
strated, the overseers of a parish would probably feel justified in giv- 
ing to it a theoretical rating out of proportion to the actual receipts 
obtained from it. 

Here again an anomaly is presented in English municipal adminis- 
tration when this is compared with that of American cities. The 
assessment, and in some instances the collection, of the municipal 
income is commonly made by the overseers of the poor (the assess- 
ing officers of the parishes into which a city may be divided) , and 
not by the municipal officers. The city treasurer informs the over- 
seers that he needs so and so much money from the parish, and these 
officials proceed to collect it and turn it into the municipal treasury. 
Under recent law some of the cities now have charge of this matter ; 
biit with others, even whcj'e an opportunity for change exists, the 
municipal officials assert that they prefer to have the board of over- 
seers do this work, as it relieves, it is said, the municipality of the 
disagreements that would aiise if the citizens believed that their taxes 
were higher than they should be ; for, instead of complaining to the 
municipality, the censure for this state of affairs, even though it may 
in part have grown out of the civic extravagance, is now frequently 
thrown upon the parish officials. 

In most of the English cities uniformity of taxation does not pre- 
vail. It is often the case that each parish (and a municipality or a 
large town may be di\'ided into a number of these) has a different 
rate of taxation ; this growing out of the fact that it sometimes hap- 
pens that the various districts of an English city. have to pay for their 
own local improvements, such as paving, sewers, sidewalks, etc., the 
city government agreeing to maintain these public works when once 
they have been constructed. The matters of taxation are still further 
complicated by the large number of special rates that are levied ; thus, 
in Liverpool, until the late change in the municipal law consolidating 
its system of taxation, there were separate taxes collected for eleven 
different objects. 

From what has been said it will be seen that the physical and 
financial conditions which obtain in these municipalities are so 



48 

widely different from those which exist in the United States that it is 
not always possible to draw simple comparisons between civic action 
in one country and the other. 

It may be stated, as a general proposition, that the leading public 
officials and the prominent business men of the great cities in England 
are believers, for what are admitted to be sentimental reasons, in the 
advantage of increasing the size and adding to the wealth of their 
several municipalities. They apparently hold that sentiment is a 
factor in trade which has to be respected and might just as well be 
cultivated ; that, other things being equal, business tends toward 
the great centres of population, and hence it is the duty of the public- 
spirited citizen, if he can, to make of his town a great centre of 
population. 

In carrying out this theory it was formerly necessary, when an 
English town wished to extend its borders, to apply to Parliament 
and obtain by special legislation the right to make an addition ; but 
in 1888 authority was given to the imperial local government board 
to relieve Parliament of a large part of the trouble that was thrown 
upon it through these constant appeals by deciding, subject to parlia- 
mentary approval, whether a municipal extension should or should 
not take place, and the conditions under which, if made, it should be 
carried out. The present method of procedure, when an English city 
wishes to extend its limits, is to petition the local government board, 
which thereupon sends a commission of inspectors made up of men 
who, through long practice in this class of work, have grown to be 
remarkably proficient in it, while they are thoroughly impartial. The 
commission of inspectors examines the ground, hears the arguments 
for and against the change and draws up its conclusions, which are 
provisionally promulgated by the local government board, and, later 
on, submitted to Parliament for confirmation. The later action, in 
consequence of the rare good judgment shown by the local govern- 
ment board, is now largely a perfunctory proceeding. The local 
government board has the right, if it thinks it expedient to do so, 
to bring about a union of two municipalities even when the citizens 
of each of these are hostile to the consolidation ; but in practice it 
has never yet pushed its authority to this extent, and has never 
forced one unwilling municipality to join another. What the com- 
mission of inspectors generally does, when in its judgment a union 
is desirable, is to see whether it is not possible to amicably arrange 
the conditions by means of which the consolidation can be brought 
about. Sometimes a vote or poll is taken to obtain local opinion. 
Ordinarily this is not the case, and even when such polling occurs 
it is commonly at a public meeting by a show of hands, — a method 
that in the United States would not be considered satisfactory. 



49 

Almost all of the recent municipal enlargements have been strenu- 
ously opposed by the citizens of those suburban districts which it 
has been proposed to annex. The reasons given for this opposition 
have been : — 

1 . The spirit of local independence, and a profound belief in the 
present excellent condition of local affairs. 

2. A distrust in the efficacy, economy and excellence of the larger 
municipal government (an argument which frequently sounds strange 
to American ears when urged against such cities as Glasgow, Liver- 
pool and Birmingham, municipalities which have been held up as 
models in all respects of what great cities should be) . 

3. A motive which is probably at bottom the strongest of all, — 
the desire to secure for a long series of years some form of compen- 
sation from the annexing city, in the form of differential rates of 
taxation, and the promise to perform, within a brief space of time, 
various classes of public work within these protesting suburban dis- 
tricts. 

This method of purchasing territory has become quite common of 
late years, so that it is doubtful whether in the future any material 
annexation can be made to the larger English cities unless they ai*e 
prepared to pay a good round price for the privilege. 

In laying out a plan for enlarging a city, the local government 
board is ordinarily willing to accord a reasonable margin within which 
the city can expand beyond the densely built up section ; but it 
rarely happens that it is willing to pennit of the annexation of dis- 
tinctly rural districts ; and if a mile or two of vacant land separates 
one municipality from another centre of population, this vacant area 
is looked upon as a sufficient barrier to j)revent a union between the 
two. 

An English city is for administrative purposes a county as well as 
a town, and hence the townships that are annexed are by that fact 
separated from the county with which they had previously been 
united. While the representatives of these counties have now and 
then opposed this loss of territory, as a rule they have only insisted 
upon having reasonable compensation for county property located 
within the territory to be annexed. Perhaps the best definition of 
the general principle which controls county action in this respect is 
found in a statement made on behalf of the county of Lancashire, 
when such a question came up for consideration, which was, "Where 
the inhabitants desire either to be incorporated (?'. e. , made a city) or 
to be joined to an existing borough, the county council will not 
oppose thejr desires, provided proper and adequate provisions are 
inserted in the order permitting of this change, for the protection of 
the county interest." This refers ix) the taking over, on proper 



50 

terms, of county buildings, the pensioning or employment of dis- 
placed county officials, and possibly the payment, until the newly 
arranged conditions are adopted, of a certain share of county 
expenses. 

One argument made in favor of municipal extension that is not 
entirely sentimental (although it has more bearing on municipal 
conditions as they exist in England than on those that are found 
in the United States, where the tendency is to lessen the authority 
of the city council) is, that the larger and more important a city 
becomes, and the larger and more important become the public 
functions that are entrusted to its officials, the better, abler and 
more responsible the men are who can be secured to voluntarily act 
as city councillors and aldermen ; and that by increasing the dignity 
of the office greater care is shown in the selection of those who are 
to fill it ; while men will consent to stand for election, and if elected 
consent to devote a great deal of time to the city service, who would 
not do this if the positions they were called upon to occupy were less 
dignified and responsible. 

Another feature in English municipal administration, which one 
might suppose would work against the growth of cities by annexa- 
tion, is the large proportion of members found in the city councils 
who would not, in America, be considered citizens of the town. 
A man residing in the suburbs of Liverpool, Glasgow or Manchester, 
but doing business in one of these cities and paying taxes there, has 
the same right to be elected, and, if elected, serve in the council, 
that he would have if his nights as well as his days were spent 
within the municipal border. If the English method in this respect 
were copied in the United States, fully half of the members of the 
Boston city council would reside, not in Boston, but in the towns 
and cities which make up its suburbs, and even the mayor might also 
be a suburban resident. This in England gives a unity of interest 
to a cluster of political municipalities that is not obtained in the 
United States; and yet this is thought to be insufficient for the 
highest forms of concerted action, since both in Glasgow and Liver- 
pool extension through annexation has been urged in order "to 
strengthen the local government and foster the commercial interests " 
of the respective places. 

Another marked feature in English municipal administration is its 
thoroughly representative character; the people insist that public 
work shall be carried on only by those who are directly responsible 
to the electors. In this respect the methods pursued are at variance 
with those which for a number of years past have grown up in the 
administration of our American cities. In fact, it is difficult for 
English municipal officers to comprehend these entirely different 



.61 

conditions ; and tibus, when the method of controlling the metropoli- 
tan district of Bostoa by commissions authorized by the Legislature 
and appointed by the governor of the Commonwealth was explained 
to an eminent English municipal officer^ he exclaimed, "I cannot 
understand such a method ; I should suppose it would be unconsti- 
tutional.'* 

The following is a brief statement of the manner in which a num- 
ber of leading cities of Great Britain have endeavored to extend their 
municipal borders, and in this way secure those benefits which are 
supposed to attach to the prefix "greater" when placed before the 
name of a city. 

Liverpool. 

Among the various provincial municipalities there is perhaps none 
where the experience of enlargement is more instructive and inter- 
esting than in the case of Liverpool ; and this experience has the 
further merit of being recent, since the consolidation of its out- 
districts has taken place during the present year. While the parish 
of Liverpool dates back, so far as municipal independence is con- 
cerned, to the thirteenth century, its existence for the larger part of 
the time was insignificant in the extreme, and it was not until 1835 
that the need of increasing its area, which then covered but 1,860 
acres, was made apparent. At that time, by act of Parliament, the 
new city of Liverpool was established, having an area of 5,210 acres 
and a population of 205,000. It was then supposed that the area 
provided would be sufficient to meet the needs of the city for more 
than a century ; for it was not foreseen that the application of steam 
to water transportation would revolutionize commerce, would vastly 
increase ocean communication between the different countries of the 
world, and that Liverpool would play a prominent part in this com- 
mercial development. 

In 1881 it was found that there were 552,508 people living within 
municipal borders ; but the local authorities realized that this large 
aggregation of population in comparatively contracted quarters was 
attended with bad sanitary conditions. The death rate of Liverpool 
was considerably higher than that of other English cities, and it was 
thought necessary to correct this by sweeping out of existence build- 
ings in some of the slums of the city which were crowded with men, 
women and children. As a result of these improvements, and as 
a result, also, of the disposition on the part of the wealthier citizens 
to reside ont of rather than in town, the population of Liverpool, 
which for several decades had increased at the rate of from 60,000 
to 75,000 per decade, fell off between 1881 and 18dl to the number of 
35,000. 



52 

In the year 1880 the municipal authorities of Liverpool petitioned 
Parliament for the right to extend their borders by incorporating 
under the city organization a number of the outlying districts. 
This proposition was strongly opposed by the representatives of all 
of these various interested sections, and met with a complete defeat. 
Again in the year 1890 a similar attempt was made, which met with 
no better success. The dwellers in the out-districts were determined 
not to surrender their local independence, and in view of their unwill- 
ingness Parliament did not care to force them into a distasteful 
union. 

During all this time there was a community of interests in certain of 
the public services. The water supply, which Liverpool had obtained 
for itself at a great expense, furnished water for those living in an 
area covering about one hundred square miles, of which Liverpool 
was the centre; and curiously enough these out-dwellers, in con- 
sequence of the act of Parliament, received their supply of water 
at somewhat lower rates than were paid by the residents of Liverpool, 
this mainly on the ground that Liverpool needed and should pay for 
a large supply of water for fire purposes, while these suburban dis- 
tricts did not have this need in the same degree. The gas lighting 
service carried on by a private company was common both to Liver- 
pool, as it was and is, and to a considerable part of the rural district 
outside. Before the recent annexation the local government boards, 
as they were called, employed but relatively few policemen and main- 
tained only small fire departments, realizing that in case of great 
need they could call upon the municipal authorities of Liverpool for 
assistance. The great parks of Liverpool were located almost with- 
out exception in the out-districts, the residents of which enjoyed 
these benefits without making the least contribution, as they also 
enjoyed the advantages of the art museums, libraries and other 
public institutions of the neighboring city. This being the case, 
those dwelling in the out-districts did not see that their interests 
would be served by annexation to the large city. 

Two or three years ago the municipal authorities of Liverpool 
came to the conclusion that a crisis had come in its affairs ; that it 
was necessary to take positive action to safeguard its welfare by giv- 
ing to it prominence as a large and growing city, this to be secured 
by, as far as possible, annexing those districts which had, with Liv-. 
erpool, a common conunercial interest. The city of Manchester 
had at that time made large financial advances to the company 
engaged in constructing the ship canal ; it was obvious that the canal 
itself would be under the control of this rival city, and it seemed not 
unlikely that the effect of this when in operation would be to draw 
from Liverpool quite a little of the commerce of which she had had 



63 

the almost undivided possession. Not only was it felt that there was 
need of action, but it so happened that at the time Liverpool pos- 
sessed two men, viz., Mr. Harcourt E. Clare (then deputy town clerk, 
now town clerk) and Mr. Thomas Hughes (then chairman of the 
parliamentary committee of the board of aldermen) , who were singu- 
larly fitted to undertake the work of harmonizing the differences that 
were certain to arise. Mr. Clare is undoubtedly one of the ablest 
town officers in the United Kingdom, and the success which the 
movement to enlarge Livei-pool met with was unquestionably due in 
a great degree to his diplomatic ability. 

Before making another application to the imperial government for 
power to extend the borders of the city, it was thought expedient to 
see if terms could not be arranged with those who represented the 
out-districts. These negotiations were carried on for nearly a year. 
The need of dropping minor differences and of acting together for 
the general good was strongly presented by those favoring the plan 
of enlargement, and it was furthermore pointed out that Liverpool 
was willing to accord to the outsiders almost everything in reason 
rather than have the proposed undertaking fail. 

In consequence of these representations, when, in February, 1894, 
the hearing by the inspectors of the local government board was 
opened at the town hall in Liverpool, Mr. Clare was able to state in 
his introductory argument that a part at least of the opposition to 
the scheme had been overcome, and that he had reason to believe 
that before the hearing was over (which turned out to be the case) 
the terms which Liverpool stood ready to offer would prove sufficient 
to induce those who still resisted to agree to accept the plan. 

It was pointed out in this argument that the growth of Liverpool 
had followed the increase of trade at the docks and in the city 
generally ; that it could be shown that as the docks extended so 
had the population of the town radiated and pushed itself out, form- 
ing a semicircle with the dock extension, until, the city having 
been practically filled up, its population had overflowed into the dis- 
tricts immediately adjoining. It was further shown that these dis- 
tricts which it was proposed to incorporate were inhabited almost 
entirely either by people whose wealth had been made in Liverpool 
and those dependent upon them, or by people whose occupation, 
employment and interests were centred in Liverpool with those 
dependent upon them ; in other words, that these districts formed to 
a great extent the residential parts of what was practically one great 
town. 

The argument made by those favoring the extension was, that the 
time had come in the history of the port of Liverpool when it was 
better that these districts, which were practically Liverpool and 



64 

dependent upon the trade of Liverpool, should be made part of that 
city, and be able by joint action to do what they could to protect the 
trade upon which all depended. 

Mr. Alderman Hughes said, speaking for Liverpool and for these 
outlying districts as well : " I feel that the city can only continue to 
prosper, and that these out-townships can only continue prospering, 
through that form of united action that will make us strong in every 
effort we make to keep up the trade of the port." 

Mr. Clare said: "I believe that all of the out-districts, together 
with the existing city, will benefit by a unity of government and 
consolidation of local interests, and that the power of the corpora- 
tion to act in the protection and development of the trade and the 
interests of Liveipool, and to deal with matters affecting the work- 
ing classes and the inhabitants generally, will be greatly enhanced. 
I only ask that you will consider the facts I have put before you ; if 
the proposals we have made in regard to the rates of these local 
boards, and of differential ratings, seem to you either unfair to the 
corporation or unfair to these out-districts, by all means alter them ; 
but do not let these small considerations of detail prevent the caiTy- 
ing out of this great scheme of constituting the greater Liverpool 
into one united corporation for the benefit of the whole community." 

It was in this spirit that the matter was approached by those who 
represented Liverpool, while on the part of those who represented 
the out-districts it was largely a matter of finance. They endeav- 
ored at the hearing to show that Livei-pool had a large debt, amount- 
ing in the aggregate to nearly $40,000,000 ; that there were many 
public undertakings which would soon have to be entered upon that 
would involve large outlays ; and that, as the out-districts had but 
a small burden of debt and in some instances had lower rates of 
taxation than those which obtained in Liverpool, it was unfair to 
ask them to come in and take a share in carrying these municipal 
burdens. 

There were four local districts interested, viz., Walton, West 
Derby, Wavertree and Toxteth Park, covering an area of 10,500 
acres and having a population of 113,404. The result reached was 
not a common agreement in which all of these townships entered into 
a consolidation, but special terms were made with each local board. 

Thus with the Toxteth district it was agreed that the general rate 
of taxation for a period of twenty years from the date of the act of 
incorporation should not exceed 2s. 4cZ. in the pound, and that for 
the same period the water rate should not be more than 3d. in the 
pound on all property taking a supply for domestic purposes. 

With the Wavertree district it was agreed that for a period of 
twenty years the general rate of taxation should not exceed 2«. 6d. 



55 

in the pound, and for a like period the water rate should not exceed 
4^eZ. in the pound. 

With the Walton district it was agreed that for a period of ten 
years the general tax rate should not exceed that of the city of 
Liverpool for the time being, and should in no case be greater than 
3s. in the pound, and that the water rate for the ten years should not 
exceed 4^. in the pound. 

With West Derby it was agreed that for a period of ten years the 
rate of taxation was never to exceed that levied in the city, and 
never to be in any case in excess of 2s. lid. in the pound, with a 
water rate for ten years of 4 Jd. in the pound. 

The two first-named districts had rates or taxes somewhat lower 
than those of Liverpool, and the two last-named places had tax 
rates rather higher than the Liverpool rate, but to each special con- 
cessions were made, though in two instances they were more favorable 
than in the two others. Besides this, under a general provision of 
the law, the municipal corporation of Liverpool agreed to keep in 
its employ, or, if it should not need their services, to compensate in 
a manner satisfactory to the local government board, such officials 
as were then in the employ of the various townships. More than 
this, the city took upon itself to satisfactorily settle with those 
oflScials of the county of Lancashire who should be thrown out of 
employment by the change, and in some instances, where individuals 
had been regularly employed to perform certain quasi-public services, 
the city government agreed to compensate them for any losses they 
might sustain. 

So far as concerned the county of Lancashire, its loss of taxable 
territory by the incorporation of these out-districts into the city and 
county of Liverpool was to be made good to it in such manner a& a 
board of prbitration should decide. In order to show the broad way 
in which the corporation of the city of Liverpool approached this 
subject, it is only necessary to say that in the case of one of the town- 
ships, where it was thought expedient to divide the district, leaving 
outside of Liverpool the distinctly rural part, Mr. Clare, the town 
clerk, said that in the matter of the local debt Liverpool would assume 
the whole of it, and thus do away with any disagreement that might 
arise on that subject. 

In this manner the consolidation of *' greater Liverpool" has been 
brought about, the city now having an area nearly three times as 
large as it formerly had, although even now it has an extent of only 
about twenty-four square miles. Close beside it, fronting the Mersey 
River, is still the independent borough (or city) of Bootle, a district 
which is distinctly a part of the commercial area of Liverpool, and one 
which should be under the same control, but which has not yet been 



56 

united, for the reason that it has been found more difficult in matters 
of this kind to deal with a borough (or city) than with a local govern- 
ment board (or town) ; the official pride of those connected with the 
borough administration, the fear lest their importance should be 
sensibly diminished by annexation, and the impossibility of providing 
pecuniary compensation for this form of loss, making the problem one 
which does not lend itself to easy settlement. 

Liverpool has, however, so added to its borders that, with the 
manner of growth which has been followed in the past, it can easily 
find accommodation for 1,500,000 people. When asked what the 
advantage of the change was, the city officials have replied that, in 
their opinion and in the opinion of the leading merchants of the place, 
there is a distinct commercial value in possessing a large population. 
In the competition which is going on between Liverpool, Man- 
chester and Glasgow, it is thought necessary that Liverpool should 
hold her own in population, and should possess that strength which 
comes from unity of purpose and action. For this the city has been 
willing to pay a generous price. For years to come the central sec- 
tion will no doubt be taxed, not only to supply the out-districts with 
the public needs of fast-growing communities, but also to make good 
the share of taxation which they, the out-districts, will not contribute. 
But in the life of a city ten years or twenty years is looked upon as 
an insignificant period of time. Long before that time has elapsed 
the interests of the people will be closely harmonized, and when the 
probationary period is over all will have to jointly share in carrying 
the common municipal burden. 

Glasgow. 

The charter of the burgh royal of Glasgow was granted by Charles 
I. in 1636. At that time it was a small and relatively insignificant 
place, and it was not until after the improvements had been made 
in the Clyde River, so as to secure for the city the benefits of water 
transportation, that the place rose to importance or had a marked 
development. As late as 1836 the town did not extend to the south 
bank of the Clyde, and in 1846, when the first large plan of annexa- 
tion was carried out, it had an area of only 1,768 acres. 

The boundaries commission, which in 1835 made a report on the 
subject of the cities and towns of Scotland, maintained that it was 
adverse to every principle of sound policy to divide those who pos- 
sessed the same common interests into two distinct and separate 
classes, the one bearing burdens and enjoying privileges and immu- 
nities because accident had placed them on one side of an arbitrary 
line, and the other exempt from the burdens, but at the same time 
having no pail; in the relative privileges and immunities, because 



57 

similar chance had placed them on the opposite side. The commis- 
sion further held that consolidation would have the good result of 
diminishing the number of useless office holdere, putting an end to 
many separate systems of collecting taxes, and would prevent many 
little local jealousies which were apt to arise between unconnected 
communities, while there could not fail to be in such a change a sav- 
ing of expense and an increased vigor in administration. 

It was as the result of this report that new lines of demarcation 
were laid out for Glasgow, giving to it an area of substantially 6,000 
acres. At that time the population was about 300,000, and it was 
supposed that space had been accorded for the growth of a century. 
But the commissioners of sixty years ago did not foresee the enor- 
mous development which was to take place in the industries of the 
Clyde valley through the utilization of its natural resources, — coal 
and iron, — in the construction of steamships and marine steam 
engines. This led to the building up of great manufacturing estab- 
lishments, largely controlled by Glasgow merchants and capitalists ; 
and in less than fifty years after the enlargement in the area of the 
city, its population, amounting to 550,000, had overspread the bor- 
ders that had been laid down, and Glasgow found itself surrounded 
by a cluster of townships, most of them organized under the name 
of police burghs, having their local affairs administered by elected 
boards of commissioners, usually consisting of twelve persons. 

The out-districts of Glasgow were, some of them, such as Govan, 
formed largely of working people who had located themselves near 
the ship yards of the Clyde ; while others, such as Crossbill, were 
made up of well-to-do citizens who had moved into the suburbs 
from the city, and enjoyed with their new homes nearly all of the 
municipal advantages of Glasgow, while paying a much lower tax 
rate. 

On eight or ten different occasions the government of Glasgow 
endeavored to have these out-districts brought within its fold by act 
of Parliament ; but on each trial the opposition of the local govern- 
ments, backed as they were by the county boards of Lanark and 
Renfrew, proved too formidable an obstacle to be overcome. On 
their part, the police burghs endeavored to increase their areas and 
thus add to their own importance, not at the expense of Glasgow, 
but by absorbing territory on the country side of their borders. The 
city government realized, however, that the strengthening of these 
small places would serve to make them still more formidable in their 
opposition to final annexation, and by its efforts succeeded in defeat- 
ing these proposed changes. Thus for a number of years matters 
were held in abeyance, neither side having sufficient influence to carry 
out its projects in a positive manner. 



58 

In 1887 the Marquis of Lothian, then secretary for Scotland, was 
persuaded to appoint a commission to make an inquiry "with refer- 
ence to further legislation bearing upon the question of the bounda- 
ries, for municipal and police purposes, of the city of Glasgow." 
The city at that time presented its scheme of consolidation, which 
consisted in bringing within the municipality nine of the surrounding 
police burghs and some thirteen other unorganized but independent 
districts, these all having an area of about 8,500 acres and a popula- 
tion a little less than 200,000. 

In stating its case, the city of Glasgow set forth the fact that it was 
asking for nothing more than a logical extension of the plan of the 
boundaries commission of sixty "years before ; that the districts which 
it now wished to have incorporated would then have been made parts 
of Glasgow had it not been that at that time they were either distinct 
rural areas, given over entirely to agricultural purposes, or were small 
centres of population separated from Glasgow by agricultural districts 
of two or three miles in width. In the interval referred to these 
farming districts had been changed into densely settled communities, 
while the old settlements were now joined to Glasgow by continuous 
populated areas. The city had had given to it, sixty years before, 
a space in which to grow ; it had filled that area up, had overflowed 
into the surrounding country, and it now came before the government 
asking to have its garment of territory adjusted to its present growth. 
The argument of the city was that the continuance of these old condi- 
tions was detrimental to the general welfare of the municipality, for 
the reason that it gave rise to jealousies and opposition ; and it was 
further shown that in and around Glasgow what should be well- 
directed public work was often carried on at cross-purposes because 
of these local suspicions and distrusts. 

The city, it was said, had established at great expense its park 
system, its public hospitals, art galleries, public baths, and other 
municipal institutions, which were of use and were used to a great 
extent by the residents of the suburbs, who, however, did not share 
in their management or directly contribute to their support. The city 
supplied the greater part of the out-districts with water and gas, and 
its police and fire departments were called upon by these suburban 
residents in case of emergency. It was not that the city hoped to 
gain financially by annexation, for the reason that the rates or taxes 
in the larger and more populated out-districts, where needed civic 
work had been canied on, were as high if not higher than the rates or 
taxes in Glasgow ; while in the smaller or residential districts the 
rates of taxation were low, because the citizens in these places had 
failed to procure for themselves ordinary but somewhat expensive 
municipal improvements, — improvements that probably would have 



59 

to be made with the growth of population. What the corporation and 
the people of Glasgow desired was to have the city developed on 
regular systematic lines, with the concurrent action and support of all 
those who had a common interest in its political and industrial welfare. 

It was admitted that the scheme was a broad one, and the city gov- 
ernment, in presenting its plan to the commission, stated that it 
thought it might be desirable to divide the newly created municipality, 
when the consolidation had been brought about, into ^Ye distinct dis- 
tricts, — three on the north side and two on the south side of the 
Clyde, having each of these districts assigned to subordinate officers, 
to have charge of the watching, lighting, cleansing and sanitary de- 
partments. Each of the district officers could carry out his duty under 
the direction of a committee of the district (made up of the town 
councillors representing the wards of the district) , who should periodi- 
cally report their proceedings to the central authority, thie council 
representing all of the wards ; the council in this way having the whole 
police and sanitary arrangements of the city under its control, and 
occupying a position which would enable it to deal with all questions 
affecting the general interest in a way to secure uniformity and 
harmony of action. 

But the entire plan of consolidation, even with the modifications just 
suggested, was strongly antagonized and combated by the represent- 
atives of practically all of the out-districts. In the first place, the 
two counties of Lanark and Renfrew appeared through their county 
officers and protested against subtractions of their respective areas, 
which, though small in extent, represented in each instance ,not only 
fully one-third of their taxable wealth, but, more than this, those 
parts of the two counties that were growing fastest in wealth and upon 
whose contributions the counties depended to carry on their public 
work. If these subtractions were to be made, the representatives of 
the counties insisted that there should be adequate compensation given 
for the loss. 

The police burghs of Govan, Partick and Maryhill, wijh their asso- 
ciates, also entered an emphatic protest, in which they stated that 
the valley of the Clyde possessed natural advantages which were 
certain to attract and maintain a large population, to encourage its 
rapid increase and to result in the accumulation of wealth. This 
inevitably led to the increase in size and importance of the old towns 
and villages of the districts and to the creation of new towns ; but 
these were not the overflow from any previously existing town, nor 
did they owe their success and increase to an older town, but simply 
to the natural advantages of their situation. They decidedly de- 
muiTed to the assumption made on behalf of Glasgow that it was 
the sole cause of this general prosperity, and that the towns and 



60 

villages in the neighborhood were the offspring and overflow of that 
city; the fact being that Glasgow, in common with these other 
places, was merely the sharer in the natural advantages which all 
possessed and which had led to the formation of these burghs. The 
local wants of the communities had been thoroughly and eflSciently 
met by the smaller governments ; provision had been made for 
watching, lighting, cleaning and sewerage ; fire brigades and town 
halls had been provided, and in all respects provision had been 
made for the needs of the inhabitants. 

The burghs through their representatives challenged comparison 
as to municipal management and government between their areas 
and that within the jurisdiction of the corporation of Glasgow. 
Their governments, they asserted, were thoroughly popular, and 
had the support and confidence of the people. The business of 
each of the burghs was within such a compass that it was easy for 
the commissioners having charge of it to acquire and maintain a 
thorough knowledge of it within their grasp and control, and at the 
same time a healthy interest in municipal proceedings was taken by 
the citizens. They further said that, while their financial affairs had 
been carefully managed, it was questionable whether the same com- 
ment could be made of the financial operations of Glasgow, and that 
the administration of the burghs was not only superior in eflSciency 
but much more economical, and based on sounder financial principles. 
They furthermore insisted that it was against public policy to build 
up great cities, which were unwieldy in themselves, since these tended 
to destroy local public spirit, upon which all civic improvement 
depended, and to place every taxpayer at the mercy of a central 
authority which he had individually no power of influencing. 

If, however, it was the opinion of the boundaries commissioners 
that some form of amalgamation was desirable, the burghs, with the 
counties, had prepared a scheme of federation which they believed 
would be far more eflScacious than that proposed by the city of 
Glasgow. This plan provided that each locality should be repre- 
sented in a central council, which should have control of the water, 
gas, parks, art galleries and fire department of the general metro- 
politan district, but that all other municipal subjects should remain 
under the absolute control of the various local councils. 

The boundaries commissioners took a vast quantity of evidence 
bearing upon this subject, and in their report gave it as their opinion 
that the area of Glasgow should be extended substantially on the 
lines laid down in the plan which the city had submitted ; but where 
these lines extended over certain agricultural districts they were 
drawn in, because the commissioners did not consider that these 
were properly urban areas ; they disallowed the claim for compen- 



61 

sation made by the counties, on the broad general principle that 
local taxation must come together with representation and right of 
administration ; in other words, that taxes could not be claimed by 
any local authorities where those who would have to pay the taxes 
were not and could not be represented in such local authority, aud 
where, therefore, they could not, through representatives, have a 
voice in the expenditure of the taxes ; but they added that, as some 
time would elapse before the counties could rearrange their adminis- 
tration and expenditures, in consequence of the loss of territory 
involved in the proposed annexation, they recommended that during 
the transition period, after the date of annexation, a reasonable sum 
should be paid to the counties by the extended city. They did not 
consider that the plan of federation proposed by the police burghs 
was one which should be taken up, for the reason that it would 
involve an entire novelty in municipal government in Great Britain, 
— a revolution which should not be resorted to except in the event 
of failure of existing methods. As to claims made for differential 
taxation, these were not allowed, for the reason that there appeared 
to be no ground for making them, as the communities where the rates 
of taxes were low stood greatly in need of public outlays, and when 
unity was secured the city would be called upon to make these. 

But, although the corporation of the city of Glasgow obtained this 
favorable report from the boundaries commissioners, it was not so 
successful when the report came to be acted upon in Parliament. 
It was vigorously opposed there by the representatives of the out- 
districts, and in order to gain its point, and this only partially, the 
municipality was compelled to follow the example of other large cities, 
and accord a differential rate of taxation to some of the interested 
communities before they would agree to withdraw their opposition. 
Even then the larger of these districts could not be induced to yield ; 
Govan, having a population of nearly 60,000, Partick, having a pop- 
ulation of about 35,000, and Kenning Park, having a population of 
about 15,000, would not come in; and hence at the present time, 
although closely joined to Glasgow, so closely that in some instances 
it is impossible to tell where the line of one town begins and another 
ends, they are none the less distinct and independent municipalities, 
and are, to all intents and appearances, just as resolute in opposition 
to incorporation as they ever were. 

London. 

In consequence of the last county election, it is diflScult to predict 
what the future of London is to be, so far as concerns the authority 
of the London county council. It is recognized both by the Radicals 
and the Conservatives, or, as the local parties call themselves, the 



62 

Progressists and the Moderates, that the existing condition of affairs 
is a transitory one, and that the anomaly of having a little and quite 
independent city of less than 40,000 inhabitants in the centre of a 
great municipality of nearly 5,000,000 people is one which cannot be 
defended by reasonable argument. Those who have been the strongest 
supporters of the political independence of the old city of London 
have based their defence of the existing state of things on grounds 
that they would themselves admit to be untenable in the case of any 
other municipality. The old city of London, the nucleus of the 
greatest municipality in the world, brings to the defence of its ancient 
and traditional honors and privileges a compact body of influential 
men, who make up the membership in what are known as the " liveried 
companies," the modern survival of the guilds of the middle ages. 
Many of these men hold prominent positions in business, society and 
politics, and are in this way able to exercise a large degree of influence 
in resisting the proposed change which would make of all London one 
city. Besides this, there are differences of opinion among the various 
county parties as to the way in which greater London should be gov- 
erned ; for, while some favor establishing one centralized form of con- 
trol, others favor taking from the county council quite a little of the 
administrative power that it now possesses. 

The report prepared about a year ago by a royal commission, 
consisting of the Hon. Leonard H. Courtney, Lord Farrer and Mr. 
R. D. Holt, has never been acted upon ; but its recommendations no 
doubt represent in the main the opinion of a decided majority of the 
citizens of greater London ; that is, that there should be, for certain 
broad and general purposes, unity of government over the entire 
metropolis, but that it is desirable to leave to the towns, parishes 
and other political districts, which make up or which could be formed 
to make up this great aggregate, as large a degree of local authority 
and independence as can be safely accorded to them, — in a word, 
leaving to these sections the management of those affairs that are 
essentially local in their character. 

It is probable that a change of this kind would have been brought 
about before now if the conservative citizens had not been alarmed 
by what they considered the t<io rapid and socialistic legislation of 
their radical associates. The measures of municipal activity sug- 
gested in the London county council have been probably no more 
extreme in their character than measures which have been put into 
effect in such cities as Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham ; but 
in the provincial towns just named these measures of civic reform 
were introduced and carried through under the leadership of mer- 
chants and manufacturers, men whom every one recognized as 
having a strong financial aa well as personal interest in the welfare 



63 

of the commanity ; while in London these same reforms have been 
largely pushed foiward by such advanced members as Mr. John 
Burns and his associates, — an advocacy which has tended, probably 
without reason, to alarm the conservative citizens and timid tax- 
payers. Besides this, there has been for a time in London a consid- 
erable increase in the rates of taxation, partly, perhaps, because, 
realizing the vast work that needs to be done, the county council 
has gone forward at too rapid a pace. Then, too, there has been 
developed in the county administration of London stronger political 
tendencies than in any of the large municipalities of Great Britain. 

These feelings of alarm have not only led to what has been in 
effect a political victory for the Moderate party in county politics, 
but have also induced some to think that the organization of the 
London county council was a mistake, and that it would have been 
better to have left the control of the city in the hands of the old 
metropolitan board of works. It should not be foi^otten, however, 
that the law creating the London county council was a Conservative 
measure introduced into Parliament by a Conservative member and 
earned through by Conservative votes ; and now that that party is 
in power in Parliament, and stands a fair chance, within a short time, 
of gaining control in the London county council, it is quite probable 
that these feelings of apprehension will disappear, and that the Con- 
sers'atives themselves will take up the work of reorganizing the gov- 
ernment of the metropolis by doing away with present anomalies. 
Under such circumstances it is probable that the general recommenda- 
tions contained in the Courtney-Farrer report will be substantially 
carried out, and tliat the towns and parishes or new political districts 
that may be formed will be given a large measure of local authority. 

At the present time the members of the London county council 
are elected from parliamentary districts, and not on the lines of 
local subdivisions. The members of the county council choose a 
number of aldermen to serve with them, and in this way secure, by 
the longer terms (six years) of these latter, a continuity of service. 
It has been suggested that a reform in method might consist in 
having the vestries or other local authorities elect these aldermen in 
the same manner that they formerly elected members to the metro- 
politan board of works, the council itself continuing to be chosen by 
the popular vote of the parliamentary districts. In this way there 
would be two representations in the council ; the larger a distinctly 
popular representation, but the other a representation based upon the 
recognition of the various formerly independent districts by the union 
of which the county had been formed. 

So far as can be made out, in the unformed condition of party and 
public opinion, the plan that is likely to receive future Conservative 



64 

support, and on this account find some possibility of realization, is 
to ci'eate municipalities of the larger local governments, such as the 
parishes of Islington and St. Pancras, and to form other munici- 
palities of the smaller parishes or districts by merging several of 
them together ; giving to each of these when formed a lord mayor 
and city council, with a large measure of local power, so that they 
would each stand — except in the matter of prestige — on a plane of 
political equality with the present city of London ; reserving to the 
county council, elected and organized as it now is, the control of the 
larger questions, that is, those that concern the general interests of 
the federated municipalities. Greater London would in this way be 
divided into from twelve to twenty distinct and independent munici- 
palities or cities, formed of those people who had fairly common local 
interests and who had been in the main accustomed to act together. 
The county council would still have all of the larger functions that 
it now possesses, but would be released from the supervision of a 
mass of detail which it cannot now well regulate. 

The chief difference between this and the Progressists' plan is that 
the latter wish to have one supreme lord mayor for greater London, 
who shall, only on a larger and more representative scale, perform 
those ceremonial functions which for centuries have been associated 
with the title of lord mayor of London, the local governments still 
continuing to hold their present form of vestries, boards, etc. In 
other words, the Progressists would make the central government the 
important and conspicuous government, while the Moderates seek to 
render it inconspicuous and somewhat limited in its range of duty by 
increasing the dignity and importance of the local governments. As 
the latter will have, for some yeai*s to come, the control ^of Parlia- 
ment, their method stands a fair chance of trial, particularly, as the 
Moderates are in a much better position than the Progressists to force 
the corporation of the city of London, which would prefer to have 
nothing done, to yield to their wishes. 

At the present time the parishes carry on a considerable amount of 
public work ; and when in doing this they need to borrow money, the 
financial benefit of their union with each other is made manifest, 
because whatever money is raised through loans by the vestries for 
local purposes is now raised under the credit of the county of London, 
the vestries in this way securing the funds they need at the lowest 
possible rate of interest, the county council, through its committees, 
taking care that no loan shall be issued for a longer period of time 
than is warranted by the character and life of the proposed under- 
taking. In this way the future is not burdened with debts for 
undertakings in the use and benefits of which those who are to live 
hereafter would have no share. 



65 

. Greatei* London, coming under the control of the county council, 
was formed by taking large and valuable districts from the counties 
of Kent, Middlesex and Surrey. The London county council gave 
nothing in the way of compensation for these subtractions, except 
that it took over, at prices agreed upon by amicable arrangement, 
the county buildings that were within the limits of the new county of 
London district, the interested counties believing that the reduction 
in their expenses in consequence of this loss of territory would fully 
offset what promised to be a loss of income. 

In spite of the severe criticism to which the administration of the 
London county council has been subjected, it is worthy of note that 
this organization seems to be about the only one in the United King- 
dom with which union, in the way of annexation, is sought by the 
out-districts. Certain localities that were omitted from the county 
of London when the law creating it was passed have been since that 
time quite eager to join it, and would now avail themselves of any 
opportunity of that kind that was offered to them. 

Manchester. 

The city of Manchester has made two extensions of its boundaries 
within recent years, the first under the act of July, 1885, and the second 
under the act of August, 1890. In each case these extensions (the 
former of which added the township of Harpurhey and the districts of 
the local boards of Bradford and Rusholme, and the latter the town- 
ships of Little Heaton, Great Heaton, Blackley and Moston, the local 
government districts of Newton Heath, Failsworth, Preswich, Crump- 
sail, Gorton, Kirkmanshulme, Openshaw and the rural district of Ash- 
ton-under-Lyne) were made for the purpose of bringing into political 
harmony districts that had common industrial and political interests. 

In the last extension of territory it was found necessary to make 
a special agreement with two or three of the outlying townships, by 
which differential rates of taxation were guaranteed to them for a 
series of years. The residents of Openshaw were for ten years to 
have a rate of taxation of one shilling in the pound less than the 
regular Manchester rate, taxpayers of Kirkmanshulme were to have 
a differential rate in their favor equal to six pence in the pound, and 
those of the Gorton district were to be assessed two pence less in 
the pound than the citizens of the city of Manchester. 

In addition to this, all of the public employees of the various 
annexed townships were to be continued in the public service of the 
enlarged city, or, if their services were not needed, were to receive an 
appropriate pension as an equivalent form of compensation. The 
city further agreed that if any officer of the county should, by virtue 
of the change or anything done in consequence thereof, suffer pecun- 



66 

iary loss, or if any sach officer should have his salary reduced by 
the county of Lancashire within one year from the going into effect 
of the scheme of annexation, on the ground that his duties had been 
diminished as the result of this change, compensation should be made 
in either case in such a manner and to such an extent as the im- 
perial local government board considered adequate. 

In the matter of county taxes and county income, which would be 
sensibly reduced by this considerable change, it was agreed that an 
equitable readjustment respecting the distribution of local taxation, 
allowances, probate duties and all other financial relations and ques- 
tions between the county of Lancashire and the city, which might be 
affected by the extension of the city, should be made within six 
months from the time the parliamentary authorization of annexation 
was granted ; and in default of such an arrangement, commissioners, 
to be appointed by the imperial local government board, should de- 
cide what compensation the city should make. 

While Manchester added, in consequence of these changes, a con- 
siderable area to the then existing municipality, it did not succeed in 
carrying out what would have been the logical plan of extension, 
that is, the annexation of the borough of Salford. The city of Sal- 
ford forms an integral part of Manchester, so much so that it is not 
easy to tell where one city ends and the other begins. But for local 
pride and the jealousy of the municipal corporations, these two places 
would long before this have been made one. Salford has a popu- 
lation estimated by the registrar-general in 1894 to be 205,828, 
while at that time the population of Manchester was estimated to 
be 520,211. In the last fifty years, Salford, without annexation, 
has increased in numbers nearly 400 per cent., while the growth 
of Manchester, in spite of its annexations, has, in the same period 
of time, hardly exceeded 100 per cent. But Manchester is a wealthy 
community, having for purposes of taxation nearly four times the 
ratable value that is to be found in the borough of Salford. Besides 
this, in matters of municipal control, while Manchester has been 
remarkably well administered, the municipality of Salford has been 
at times quite the reverse. 

At various interv'^als during the last ten years there have been 
organized attempts made to bring about a union of these two cities, 
some of the leading business men of both places joining in these 
efforts ; and in 1888 a long and exhaustive inquiry was carried on, 
for the purpose of demonstrating to the public the advantages that 
would result to both from such a union of interests. But in spite 
of this work the consolidation has not taken place, and there seems 
to be some doubt whether it can be brought about for a long time 
to come. 



67 

One obstacle in the way of a further municipal extension by Man- 
chester is the unknown problem which that city has in its ship canal 
venture. The city has advanced credit to bring about the construction 
of this work to the amount of £5,127,980, and at present the tolls 
received therefrom are hardly more than sufficient to pay the expenses 
of maintenance, so that the burden of making good the interest on the 
bonds falls upon the taxpayers of Manchester, and forms, as might 
be supposed, a considerable item in the municipal budget. The out- 
districts are receiving the benefit of this canal construction, not so 
much, possibly, in the advantages of water carriage as in the reduced 
rates of railroad transportation which this water competition has 
brought about ; but they do not have to bear the expenses of meeting 
the interest on the canal bonds, and apparently have no desire to join 
with Manchester in undertaking this onerous duty. If, later on, the 
canal venture should prove a financial success, the conditions might 
be reversed, and the out-districts which have resisted the efforts that 
have been made from time to time by Manchester to induce them to 
come within the municipal area would be then probably only too . 
willing to avail themselves of these invitations ; but until this prob- 
lem is worked out (and it will probably require a number of years 
for its solution) there is not much likelihood that the city area of 
Manchester will be greatly extended. 

Birmingham. 

Although Mr. Joseph Chamberlain has recently said that, in his 
opinion, a city of 500,000 people is about as large a place as it is 
desirable to have under one control, and although Mr. Chamberlain's 
record as a municipal administrator won for him a national reputation 
before he appeared in Parliament, and further, although Mr. Cham- 
berlain has nowhere a stronger and more loyal following than in 
Birmingham, it is none the less a fact that the municipal authorities 
in that city do not appear to agree with him in insisting upon the 
above-mentioned limitation. It is pointed out that municipal boun- 
daries are based on topographical conditions and on common political 
and trade interests, rather than on the score of numbers, and that, if 
Birmingham had 500,000 people within the municipal area, it would 
be exceedingly difficult to resist the tendency to take in new citizens, 
while few would insist that another and possibly rival Birmingham 
should be built up just outside the city limits. 

From time to time Birmingham has found it necessary to extend its 
borders, the last process of annexation taking place in 1891. At that 
time the areas under the control of the Balsall health local board, the 
Harbome and Saltley local boards, the guardians of the poor of the 
Aston Union, the surveyors of highways of the hamlet of Little 



68 

Bromwich, and other rural authorities, were added. Not only were 
the municipal authorities of Birmingham willing to take these out- 
distriets within the city limits, but in the case of the hamlet of Little 
Bromwich it was agreed that for a period of ten years from 1891 the 
rate of taxation in that district should be at the rate of two shillings 
in the pound less than that paid in the city of Birmingham, and for 
a period of ten years from 1901 at a rate of one shilling in the pound 
less than the Birmingham rate. 

In the case of the local government district of Saltley it was stipu- 
lated that for five years from 1891 the rate of taxation to its citizens 
should be one shilling in the pound less than the municipal rate ; for 
two subsequent years, nine pence less ; for the next' two years, six 
pence less ; and for a further period of two years, three pence less 
than the Birmingham proper tax. 

At that time the municipal authorities would have been well pleased 
if they could have persuaded the citizens of Aston Manor, a district 
having about 60,000 population, to take part in this incorporation ; 
. but either the inducements held out in the way of differential taxation 
were not sufficient, or the residents of this township — which is to all 
intents and purposes a part of Birmingham — were unwilling to resign 
their local independence. Whatever may be the cause, the arrange- 
ment could not be carried out, and Birmingham is deprived of this 
number of population that its citizens would very much like to have. 

On interrogating the municipal authorities as to the reason why 
annexation was considered desirable, apart from the question of 
settling local differences (and from this source apparently little trouble 
had been experienced) , it was frankly admitted that the motive was 
largely a sentimental one. It was said that Birmingham could not 
afford to stand still, showing only a relatively small increase in the 
number of its people, while Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow 
were steadily making large gains ; that the merchants and manufact- 
urers wished to realize that they were citizens of a large and impor- 
tant city, that it gave a dignity to their business and unquestionably 
tended to increase their profits. The municipal authorities did not 
intend to make undue accessions, but, when it could be shown that 
the business and social interests of people dwelling in neighboring 
independent municipalities were substantially the same, it was thought 
well to also harmonize their political interests. 

Nottingham. 

The city of Nottingham is not one of the great cities of the 
United Kingdom, but it has gained a high civic reputation from the 
fact that its town clerk, Sir Samuel Johnson, is one of the most 
progressive municipal officials in Great Britain. As with others 



69 

holding similar positions in the English cities, he has made a life 
study of this class of public work. He was called to take the position 
that he now holds in ^Nottingham in consequence of the ability that 
he displayed elsewhere, and during the time he has been in his 
present office he has had similar positions offered to him by the 
municipal governments of several of the larger English cities. 

Nottingham, prior to the time it entered upon the work of annexa- 
tion, was a small but exceedingly ancient city, its charter dating 
back to the time of King John, and this when given was accompanied 
with rights and immunities, subsequently increased, which were of 
great value to its citizens. 

The civic government was in possession of a large amount of 
property, which, if administered with reasonable prudence, as it 
would have been, might, if the city had not added to its burdens by 
annexation, have brought into the municipal treasury a sufficient 
sum of money to pay a large part, possibly nearly all, of the current 
municipal expenditure, thus relieving the citizens from the onerous 
obligation of paying taxes. A condition of affaire was, under these 
circumstances, presented which would seem to count in direct opposi- 
tion to the theory of municipal enlargement. The old area of the 
city was small, and its government as such was not apparently called 
upon to interest itself in the welfare of those of its former citizens or 
their descendants who sought and found homes for themselves outside 
of its limits. But this view of municipal responsibility was not one 
which found favor in Nottingham, and instead of reserving its rapidly 
increasing income for the civic needs of those who happened to reside 
within its borders, the city council lent a favoring ear to the requests 
of the residents of the out-districts, who wished to have their town- 
ships brought in and made parts of Nottingham, in order that they 
might, as having a common interest, enjoy the benefits of a common 
administration. The result was, at the time, a broad extension of 
the municipal borders, which carried the population of Nottingham 
up to over 200,000, but at the same time threw upon the municipal 
treasury a burden which made necessary the continued payment of 
large local taxes. The money to a great degree was necessarily spent 
for the benefit of the dwellers of the out-districts, both in providing 
them with the public facilities which they previously had not pos- 
sessed and with which they could not afford to supply themselves, 
and also in meeting the added burden the city was under of enlarging, 
in consequence of increased population, its ordinary administrative 
services. 

Nottingham has maintained at the public expense a university 
attended by over two thousand undergraduates, in which instruction 
is given under conditions that allow the wage earner, if he possesses 



70 

the ability, to utilize his spare hours in study, and to secure, as the 
result of an examination, a regular university degree. Naturally the 
augmentation of the municipal area has been 'attended with an in- 
creased expenditure in maintaining this institution. 

In the case of the additions made to the municipal area of Notting- 
ham, no compensation was given to the outlying districts. The gain 
of coming into the city was held to be amply sufflcient to justify the 
change. At the present time there are several local boards, repre- 
senting distncts lying just outside of the boundaries of the town, that 
are desirous of having the city take them within its boundaries, and 
would like to have the incoi-poration brought about, as it has been 
with other Pmglish cities, on the ground of special consideration and 
compensation. But while Nottingham, as its record has shown, is 
not disposed to shirk proper public duties, it does not intend to make 
itself a subject of spoliation ; hence the municipal authorities have 
thus far turned a deaf ear to the suggestion, merely hinting that, if 
a scheme of annexation is contemplated, the outlying districts had 
better initiate the plan, thus cutting off the possibility of securing 
special favors. 

Paris. 

The system of government of the city of Paris is so unique, and 
present methods are so far due to local conditions, that there is rela- 
tively little to be discovered in them that would bear transportation 
and reproduction. As one of the leading officials connected 'with the 
prefecture of the Seine has said, "Paris is ruled by a despot, who 
endeavors, except in times of trouble, not to let the people realize 
his power." The republican government of France has passed a 
large number of laws applicable to the control of communes throughout 
France, but in almost every case an exception to their application has 
been made with respect to Paris. There is no general charter defining 
the scope of municipal control, but its range is found in scoi'es of 
special laws which have been passed from time to time as the needs 
of the city seemed to require. The autocrat of Paris is the prefect of 
the Seine, who not only rules over the 2,450,000 inhabitants of Paris, 
but also, in a less autocratic manner, over 700,000 inhabitants who 
live in the department of the Seine outside of the municipality. The 
prefect of the Seine isj appointed by the minister of the interior, and 
is responsible to him and to the particular ministry which happens to 
hold office. His colleague in the work of administration is the prefect 
of police, who is also appointed by the same authority, and who 
possesses great and independent powers, which, however, in order to 
avoid the clash of conflicting jurisdiction, have been carefully analyzed 
and classified in various special laws. 



71 

The city of Paris is at present divided into twenty arrondissements, 
which form national as well as local political divisions. From each 
of these arrondissements four members are elected to the municipal 
council, two of whom must be legal residents of the division which 
they are chosen to represent. This municipal council meets four 
times a year, having sessions of not more than ten days, except the 
session in which the annual budget is taken up for consideration, 
which is then compulsorily extended to six weeks. The powers pos- 
sessed by the members of the municipal council are purely legislative 
in their character, and are limited even in this department of public 
work by the will of the prefect of the Seine or his superior, the 
national minister of the interior. The present prefect, M. Eugene- 
Hene Poubelle, has held that office for a number of years, and in 
consequence of his great tact and discretion has been at all times well 
liked, not only by varying ministers of the interior, but also by the 
not always easily satisfied members of the municipal council. As a 
result, matters have gone on without friction, and the prefect has 
voluntarily relinquished rights and powers which were legallj- his, in 
order to satisfy the wishes of the people of Paris, who have a natural 
desire for self-government ; but if a civil or military crisis arose, if 
France were brought face to face with a revolution, as she has been in 
the past, or if an insurrection broke out in the capital, then immedi- 
ately the prefect would, without regard to the feelings of the munici- 
pal council, reassume many of the official functions which he has 
of late tentatively abrogated. Obviously a benevolent despotism of 
this character is something so foreign to the political conceptions of 
Anglo-Saxon people that there is little in it which could be found 
of use in the way of reproduction. 

With respect to present methods of determining public expenditures, 
it can be said that it is the custom of the prefect of the Seine, as maire 
of Paris, to recommend that an appropriation should be made for the 
building of a new school-house, the widening or extending of a new 
street, or other similar public work, and if the suggestion meets with the 
approval of the municipal council, a vote to make the proposed expendi- 
ture is passed. Then, in his capacity of prefect of the Seine, the chief 
executive of the city transmits the order which the municipal council 
has passed to the minister of the interior, with his approval of it, and 
when the consent of the latter has been obtained the money is spent. 
In other words, all votes or orders requiring an expenditure of money 
in the city of Paris have first to obtain the sanction of the national 
minister of the interior before they can become valid. In other matters 
which do not involve fresh expenditures of money, or which involve 
no expenditure of money at all, the action of the municipal council 
with the approval of the prefect of the Seine is all that is required. 



72 

The department of the Seine, oatside of the city of Paris, is divided 
into twenty-one arrondissements, which are subject to regulations 
common to all of the local governments of France oatside of Paris. 
The various though relatively few public matters that the city of 
Paris and the other arrondissements of the department of the Seine 
have in common are regulated by the departmental council, which is 
formed of the members of the municipal council and representatives 
from the twenty-one outside arrondissements. Gatherings of this 
body are called at such times as the prefect of the Seine thinks 
desirable, the outside communities sending twenty-one representatives 
to the eighty contributed by the city of Paris. 

Each of the twenty arrondissements of Paris has its maire ap- 
pointed by the national minister of the interior, who, with from three 
to five aides, — a number contingent upon the amount of pabUc work, 
— has charge of certain local services. These maires of arrondisse- 
ments have the duty of performing civil marriages for those living 
within their respective districts ; they oversee the distribution of the 
funds contributed in aid of the needy ; they act as justices of the 
peace; they endeavor to settle trade differences between employer 
and employee, as far as these are susceptible of amicable arrange- 
ment; and they perform a function peculiarly French, — that of 
acting as presiding officer and referee when, as is often the case, 
family diffierences arise which need in some way to be adjusted to 
avoid manifest hardship or possible public scandal. But these local 
maires are in no way representative of the people, and their functions 
are of an exceedingly circumscribed character. 

The city of Paris has been from time to time increased in size as 
the conditions of civic life called for the change. The walls around 
the city have been demolished and rebuilt as many as nine times, in 
order to afford greater space for the growing requirements of the 
people. In the thirteenth century the area enclosed was 252 hec- 
tares; at the time of Louis XIV. it had been increased to 1,337 
hectares. The last increase and the most extensive one was made 
under the law of the 16th of June, 1859, which carried the city up to 
the limits of the present circle of fortifications, and gave to it an 
area of 7,802 hectares, or 30.12 square miles. At that time the 
number of people who were added to the municipality was something 
over 250,000, and the change was urged for the reason that it was 
held that their interests were so closely identified with those of Paris 
that it was absurd to continue any longer a different form of govern- 
ment. At that time the population of Paris was about 1,250,000, so 
that in population the addition represented an increase of about 
twenty per cent. 

The obstacles that were then thrown in the way of annexation 



73 

were chiefly financial, growing out of the application of the octroi 
duties, these duties (which each city and commune in France collects 
at its borders as a means of public revenue) bearing more heavily 
upon importations into Paris than upon those which went into the 
municipalities in its vicinity. In order to secure the co-operation of 
those who, prior to 1859, lived outside the municipal borders, it was 
necessary to arrange by law that for a series of years those dwell- 
ing in these outlying sections should be exempted from certain of the 
burdens of taxation that then fell upon the citizens of Paris. Thus, 
for exami)le, the law of the 16th of June, 1859, declared that work- 
shops which were in active operation on the first of January, 1859, 
within the territory that was to be united to Paris, should be ex- 
empted for a period of seven years from the octroi duty of Paris on 
such commodities as were used in the processes of manufacture. The 
debts of the suppressed communes, which were not represented by 
actual assets, were assumed by the city of Paris ; while with respect 
to those communes a part only of which was annexed, the national 
council was directed to arrange for a partition of the local debt and 
the public possessions, both personal and real estate. 

Although thirty-five years have now elapsed since the last annexa- 
tion, this was so extensive, so far as area is concerned, that in the 
opinion of the municipal officials it is quite improbable that any 
further extension will take place for years to come. The density of 
population, when the entire municipal area is taken into account, is 
less now than in 1859, just prior to the time that the annexation was 
made. The difficulties that would be experienced if a further exten- 
sion was proposed are the differences in the octroi duty and the un- 
willingness of the people residing outside of Paris to surrender their 
present political rights and the opportunities they now have of regu- 
lating these local rates of duty in accordance with their respective 
local needs. Besides this, the enceinte, as it is called (the walls and 
glacis that surround Paris) , forms a distinct boundary well adapted 
to the needs of the city, which collects about one-half of its annual 
revenue by duties imposed upon the goods that are brought within its 
walls. There is little attraction that Paris has to offer to the outly- 
ing municipalities, while for the present at least these latter are in 
no way needed for the proper development of that city. 

English County Government. 

The counties in England and Wales are governed in accordance 
with provisions laid down in the local government act passed by Par- 
liament in 1888. The intent of this statute was to give to the counties 
a popular form of government, and to in this way reform those abuses 



that had grown out of a BjBtem of control in which the people did not 
have a fair representation. The regulations in question are embodied 
in statutes wliich fill one hundred and twenty printed pages. They 
provide not only for the control of the counties, but also for the 
numerous qualifications that had to be made in order to bring into 
reasonable hannony a large number of conflicting conditions. 

In treating briefly of this matter it is only necessary to say that for 
each of tlie counties, or where, at the time the law was passed, a 
county was so large that it could advantageously be divided into two 
county districts, provision is made for the election of a county council, 
this to consist of councillors representing the different towns or elec- 
toral divisions, — to be chosen for a term of three years, all retiring 
at the same time, — and county aldermen, as they are called, who form 
in number about a fifth of the county council, who are chosen by 
the councillors, and who serve for a term of six years, Jialf of them 
retiring with each election of a new set of county councillors. It was 
intended that these county councils should be large legislative bodies, 
and thus their membership, both of aldermen and councillors, in some 
instances runs up to the number of one hundred and twenty or 
more. 

To this assembly is delegated the making, assessing and levying of 
county, police and other rates, and the application and expenditure 
of the money thus obtained ; the borrowing of money ; the passing 
of the accounts of the county treasurer ; the control of shire halls, 
county halls, assize courts, judges' lodgings, lock-up houses, court 
houses, justices* rooms, police stations and county buildings, works 
and property ; the licensing of houses and other places for music or 
for dancing; the enlargement, maintenance and management of 
asylums for paupers and lunatics ; the establishment and mainten- 
ance of reformatory and industrial schools; the maintenance and 
repairing of bridges and main roads, and such kindred powers as 
county authorities ordinarily possess ; the appointment, removal and 
determination of salaries of county officials ; the control of county 
elections ; the execution, as local authority, of all acts relating to 
contagious diseases of animals, destructive insects, fish conservancy, 
and weights and measures and gas meters ; and authority in all 
matters arising under the riot act. In addition to these general 
powers, the act itself provided that the local government board might 
transfer to the county councils such powers, duties and liabilities as 
had been in the past carried on in the counties by the local govern- 
ment board or the education department or by the commissioners of 
sewers, or by any authority vested with the enforcement of the pro- 
^'isions of the rivers* pollution prevention act, or the laws relating to 
the preservation of health. In quite a number of instances this 



75 

transferrence of centralized authority to these local representative 
bodies has already taken place. 

These county councils, like the city councils in England, are both 
legislative and executive, the administrative duty falling upon the 
different committees into which each body is divided. These com- 
mittees appoint the officials who are to exercise executive control, 
and are themselves held in check by the responsibility they are under 
of reporting their proceedings from time to time to the full council. 
The law provides that every county council shall appoint a finance 
committee to regulate and control the finances of the county, and 
an order for the payment of a sum out of the county fund, whether 
on account of capital or income, cannot be made by a county council 
except in pursuance of a resolution of the council passed on recom- 
mendation of the finance committee. Any cost, debt or liability 
exceeding fifty pounds must not be incurred except upon a resolu- 
tion of the council passed on an estimate submitted by the finance 
committee. The notice of the meeting at which any resolution will 
be proposed for the payment of a sum out of the county fund, other- 
wise than for ordinary periodical payments, or any resolution for 
incun'ing any costs, debt or liability exceeding fifty pounds, must 
state the amount of the said sum, costs, debt or liability, and the 
purpose for which they are to be paid or incurred. 

The county council may, with the consent of the local government 
board, borrow on the security of the county fund, or of any revenue 
of the council, such sums as may be required for cancelling debts of 
the county, for purchasing land or buildings which the council is 
authorized by act to purchase or build, or for any other permanent 
work which the council is authorized to execute or do ; provided, 
however, that the total debt of the county, after deducting the amount 
of any sinking fund, shall not exceed the amount of one-tenth of the 
annual ratable value of the ratable property in the county ; that is, 
the entire debt must not exceed one-tenth of the gross amount of the 
values upon which the general county taxes are levied. 

Besides the income obtained by rates or taxes, each of the county 
councils receives from the imperial government four-tenths of the 
sums collected in the county by the commissioners of internal revenue 
from probate duties, and the entire amount so collected by the same 
commissioners for the granting within their districts of various 
licenses. These license taxes cover a wide range, applying not only 
to the retailere of spirits, beer, wine and cider, but also to licenses 
to kill game, keep dogs or guns, to act as appraisers, auctioneers, 
tobacco dealers, house agents, hawkers, pawnbrokers, plate dealers 
and horse dealers, to keep carriages, trade carts, horses and mules, 
to have armorial bearings and to employ male servants. These 



76 

various license fees, which formerly passed into the imperial treasory 
and which were disbursed by the imperial government in paying the 
expenses of county governments when these were largely under its 
control, now form a considerable fund, to be employed, although not 
collected, by the local authorities in such manner as they may see fit. 

While these newly organized counties follow in the main historical 
county lines, it was found necessary, in the act of 1888, to arrange 
to change county boundaries in order to bring under one administra- 
tive control those communities which had common interests. An 
exception to the general pcope of county duty is found in the case of 
the larger centres of population. A previous act had provided that 
a city, or borough, as it is termed, might, under certain conditions, 
assume county as well as municipal functions ; and in the act of 
1888 it was not deemed expedient to disturb these previously made 
arrangements. For this reason in some of the great English counties 
there are cities which, although located within the general county 
lines, are still independent of the newly formed control, or, in other 
words, are counties in themselves. The most striking instance of 
this anomaly is found in the county of Lancaster, where Liverpool, 
Manchester, Rochdale, Salford and ten other municipalities are what 
are known as county boroughs, and have no connection with the 
county government of Lancaster except through the action of joint 
committees appointed by the different bodies to adjust and regulate 
those matters where the two authorities have a common interest. 

In spite of this exclusion of the great centres of population, the 
county palatine of Lancaster embraces quite an extent of territory, 
a large amount of taxable property and nearly as many people 
as there are in the State of Massachusetts. To show the extent 
of this county government, the following list of its officers may be 
of value. A few of these, such as the lord lieutenant and the chan- 
cellor of the duchy, are appointments made by the imperial govern- 
ment ; but the greater part of the list of executive officers consists 
of those who are directly responsible to the county council: high 
sheriff, lord lieutenant, constable of Lancaster Castle, chancellor of 
the duchy, vice-chancellor of the duchy, attorney-general, clerk and 
register of the council, under-sheriff, three acting under-sheriffs, dis- 
trict registrar, seal keeper and associate, clerk of the assize, clerk 
of the peace, two deputy clerks of the peace, county treasurer, chief 
constable, assistant chief constable, county auditor, medical officer of 
health, director of technical instruction, four superintendents of four 
different lunatic asylums, with the law clerks and treasurers to the 
boards of visitors of each of these institutions, chief warder in charse 
of Lancaster Prison, three keepers of other county prisons, superin- 
tendent of sea fisheries, chief inspector of the Mersey and Irwell 



77 

water-sheds, chief inspector of the Ribble water-shed, county analyst, 
assistant county analyst and district agricultural analyst, two bridge 
masters and inspectors and four district surveyors of main roads. 

It will be seen from the foregoing that an English county is granted 
a large measure of legislative and executive power, having control 
over many matters of local public interest which with us are regu- 
lated by direct action of the Legislature — as they formerly were in 
England by Parliament — or by boards created by the Legislature. 
The superior regulating power in England is found in the local 
government board, a commission appointed by the imperial govern- 
ment to perform for all the counties this administrative duty. To 
this board the county councils as well as the county boroughs are 
compelled each yeat to send their accounts for audit ; they are not 
permitted to borrow money except upon such terms and for such 
objects as the local government board may approve ; while this board 
has also the power in certain cases, where a conflict arises between 
two local governments, to settle thesa differences, or, in the case of 
some public services, to order the performance of the work at the 
expense of the county judged to be responsible for its execution. 
In carrying out the duties with which it is intrusted, the local govern- 
ment board may, under certain circumstances, prepare provisional 
acts of legislation, which, however, have no force until confirmed by 
Parliament. As an administrative body the local government board 
unquestionably performs a great and salutary work, maintaining 
harmony and securing co-operation between the different local govern- 
ments, preventing extravagance in expenditure, compelling the per- 
formance of necessary public services, and, by the knowledge that 
its members acquire of the results of municipal or county work of an 
experimental character carried out in one locality, advising other 
local governments as to the advantages or disadvantages of copying 
the method. 

Conclusions. 

The following general conclusions may be drawn from the munici- 
pal experience of England : — 

First. — That consolidation or annexation is desirable when two 
or more distinctly urban districts are closely joined together in social, 
commercial and political interests. 

Second. — That it is not desirable to consolidate or annex large 
sections of distinctly rural territory, or districts where the social, 
commercial and political interests of the people are not common. 

Third. — That it is of commercial advantage, other things being 
equal, that a city should be a large rather than a small centre of 
population. 



\ 



78 

Fourth. — That, in order to exhibit evidence of growth m popula- 
tion a city can afford to liberally compensate the out-districts that 
agree to become paints of it. 

Fifth, — That it is questionable whether with a representative form 
of control the best municipal administration can be expected from 
a strictly centralized government, when a city has a million or more 
of people. 

Sixth. — That under such circumstances it may be desirable that 
there should be some form of local government, carried on by those 
who appreciate local needs, and who are in touch with the people of 
the different localities. 

Seventh, — That, in order to have these local governments efficient, 
and draw into their service the best and ablest men of the different 
localities, the largest possible degree of dignity and responsibility 
should be accorded to them. 

Eighth, — That, in deciding the question of whether a public ser- 
vice should be localized or centralized, the burden of proof should 
rest with the advocates of the latter proposition. 

Ninth. — That no system of government can be considered satis- 
factory over which the people have not a direct control, through 
representatives chosen by and responsible to them. 

OSBOKNE HOWES. 



79 



Appendix B. 



Areas of Cities and Towns in the Metropolitan Dis- 
trict OF Boston. 



Cities or Towns (^Geographical Area in Square Miles, ^ 

Boston and islands, 43.20 

Arlington, . . . 5.39 

Belmont, 4.66 

Brookline, . 6.81 

Cambridge, 6.37 

Chelsea, , . . 2.24 

Dedham, 21.79 

Everett, 8.37 

Hyde Park, 4.57 

Lexington, 16.65 

Lynn, 11.21 

Maiden, 5.07 

Medford, 8.50 

Melrose, 4.82 

Milton, 13.18 

Nahant, 1.06 

Newton, 18.07 

Qnincy, 16.26 

Reyere, 5.87 

Saugus, . . . 11.75 

Somerville, 3.96 

Stoneham, 6.43 

Sw-ampscott, 4.77 

Wakefield, 8.14 

Waltham, 13.72 

Watertown, 4.04 

Winchester, 6.31 

Winthrop, 1.61 

Wobum,. 13.24 

273.06 



80 



Appendix C. 



Court-house Work. 



The following is an analysis of the deeds and probate 
matters recorded in the counties of Middlesex, Norfolk and 
Essex in 1893 and 1894, showing the amount of work on 
account of the municipalities which come within the metro- 
politan district. The municipalities in this exhibit are all 
graded and spoken of as towns : — 

MroDLESEx County. 

Population, 1895, 499,248 

Population of 44 towns, total of south district, . . . . 397,964 

Population of 1 6 towns in metropolitan district, .... 312,943 

Oct. 1, 1892 — Sept. 30, 1893: — 

Deeds recorded from 44 towns, total of south district, . , 29,466 

Deeds recorded from 16 towns in metropolitan district, . . 24,179 

Oct. 1, 1893 — Sept. 30, 1894 : — 

Deeds recorded from 44 towns in south district, .... 31,231 

Deeds recorded from 16 towns in metropolitan district, . . 26,092 

Oct. 1, 1892 — Sept. 30, 1893 : — 

Total number of probate matters in whole county, 54 towns, . 2,343 
Total number of probate matters in 16 towns in metropolitan 

district, 1,342 

Oct. 1, 1893 — Sept. 30, 1894: — 

Total probate matters in whole county, 54 towns, . . . 2,444 

Total probate matters in 16 towns in metropolitan district, . 1,352 

Norfolk County. 

Population, 1895, . . . . . . . . . , 134,781 

Population of 5 towns in metropolitan district, .... 61,435 



Oct. 1, 1892 — Sept. 30, 1893 : — 

Total number of deeds recorded in county, 7,774 

Total number of deeds recorded in 5 towns in metropolitan 

district, 3,928 

Oct. 1, 1893 — Sept. 30, 1894 : — 

Total number of deeds recorded in county, ..... 7,634 

Total number of deeds recorded in 5 towns in metropolitan 

district, . . . 3,807 

Oct. 1, 1892 — Sept. 30, 1893 : — 

Total probate matters recorded in county, 769 

Total probate matters recorded in 5 towns in metropolitan 
district, 293 

Oct. 1, 1892 — Sept 30, 1894 : — 

Total probate matters recorded in county, 771 

Total probate matters recorded in 5 towns in metropolitan 
district, 277 

Essex County. 

Population, 1895, 329,775 

Population of 31 towns, total recording in south district, . . 262,213 
Population of 4 towns recording in south district, in metropolitan 
district, 70,980 

Oct. 1, 1892 — Sept. 30, 1893 : — 

Total number of deeds recorded from 31 towns, total of south 

district, 10,569 

Total number of deeds recorded from 4 towns in south district, 

in metropolitan district, 3,815 

Oct. 1, 1893 — Sept. 30, 1894 : — 

Total number of deeds recorded from 31 towns, total of south 

district, 10,466 

Total number of deeds recorded from 4 towns in sout}i district, 

in metropolitan district, ........ 3,265 

Oct. 1, 1892 — Sept. 30, 1893 : — 

Total number of probate matters recorded in county, . . . 1,704 
Total number of probate matters recorded in 4 towns in metro- 
politan district, 326 

Oct 1 , 1893 — Sept 30, 1894 : — 

Total iiumber of probate matters recorded in county, . , . 1,508 

Total number of probate matters recorded in 4 towns in metror 
politan district, 270 



82 



Appendix D . 



Home Residences of the Business and Professional 

Men of Boston. 



The following is a tabulated statement of the number of 
wholesale merchants, bankers and lawyers having their 
business houses or offices in Boston, with the number of 
individuals composing the various firms, and the places, 
whether in Boston or outside of Boston, in the metropolitan 
district, in which these various individuals reside : — 





o 

U CO 


r of 
uals. 


c 


ts of 
lilan 
ct. 


BUSINESS. 


Nil tube 
Firm 


Niinibe 
Individ 


o S 
•r o 

C5. 


1 11 

{2 S 


Bankers . 


79 


111 


56 


38 


Dealers in beef, .... 




43 


39 


15 


19 


in boots and shoes, 




490 


423 


124 


123 


in coal, .... 




68 


67 


31 


30 


in clothing, . 




78 


134 


92 


32 


in dry goSds, . 




107 


168 


84 


40 


in fish, . 




79 


112 


53 


51 


*in fruit, . 




72 


108 


39 


63 


in groceries, . 
'^ in leather, 




49 


108 


48 


45 




188 


216 


61 


120 


'~- in lumber, 




156 


150 


ee 


66 


in paper. 




80 


80 


34 


81 


in wool, . 




68 


94 


48 


33 


in woollens, . 




63 


57 


23 


24 


Lawyers, .... 




1,620 

1 


1,550 


779 


616 


Totals, .... 


1 . 


3,412 


1,553 


1,331 



83 



Appendix E. 



Value of County Property situated, in the Metro- 
politan District, 



Essex County, None. 

Suffolk County, $5,334,400 

Middlesex County, *909,996 

Norfolk County, 463,488 

Total, $6,707,884 

* Yalaation of the county property in the metropolitan district. 



84 



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Arlington, . 

Belmont, 
Brook] InB, . 
Cambridge, . 
Chelsea. 
Deilhnm, 
Everett, 
Iljiio Park, . 
Lexington, , 
Lynn. . 
llnldcn, 
Jtledford, . 
Melrose, 

smton,. 

Sahnnt, 
Kewton, 
Qnincy, 

Saugua, 
Somerville, . 
Stoaehiim, . 
Swanipscott, 
Wakefield, . 
Wallham, , 
"Watertown, . 
Winchester, . 
Winlhrop, . 
Wo burn, 
Boston,. 



fI53,22-l 
60,768 9 
702,086 2 
l,6i7,667 S 
494,293 i 
134,341 1 
364,S32 3 
124,043 4 
67,760 6 
1,123,923 8 
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191.612 7 
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901,053 S 
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66,914 7 
713,541 8 
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65,360 3 
220,229 8 
547,701 9 
130,429 5 
114,948 4 



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18 70 
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.019 
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" In niaklTiit H(^ Iha imoant of toUl mnniclpsl expttiMB the cost of conatrurtloD 
MBl'^en in tha Ili^-hwavs, Police, Fire, Schools, WaKr, Sewers nnd Health Dopftrtments 
has been deducicJ, but the inteiest upon the public debt ud slnklog fund requlrementi 



r ^ — T .- 



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Gcctcn, i/:::. r.:i:o 1 






mm 



THE BOmiOWBR WILL 


BE CHARQBD 


AN OVERDUE RE IF ' 


mit BOOK It 


NOT RETURNED TO THE UERARY ON 1 


OR BEFORE THE LAtT DATE tTAMPED | 


BELOW. NON-RECEIFT 


OF OVERDUE 1 


NOTICEt DOEt NOT 


EXEMPT THE 1 


BORROWER FROM OVERDUE FEEt. | 




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